Skip to main content

Full text of "Biography of Mrs. Lydia B. Bacon"

See other formats


3  3433  08233628  4 


Digitized  by  the  Internet  Archive 

in  2007  with  funding  from 

IVIicrosoft  Corporation 






Depository,  13  CoRxnu.L. 

sm&i  ■ ' 

Entered  according  to    act    of   Congress,  in  the    year    1856, 

By    the    Massachusetts    Saebath    School    Society, 
in  the   Clerk's  Office  of  the  District  Court  of  Massachusetts. 

A.  J.  \7risht,  Printer,  1  M'ater  street. 


MRS.    LYDIA    B.    BACON 

IMrs.  Lydia  B.  Bacon  ^vas  tlie  eldest  child  of  Mr.  Levi 
and  Mrs.  Mary  Stetson,  and  was  born  in  Boston,  (of 
wliicli  city  tier  parents  were  also  natives,)  May  lOth, 
1786.  Of  her  infancy  and  childhood  it  has  not  been 
the  fortune  of  her  biographer  to  collect  other  than  the 
briefest  record.  Her  parents  having  now  been  long- 
deceased,  and  her  surviving  sisters  being  many  years 
younger  than  herself,  it  has  been  impossible  to  gather 
those  details  and  incidents  of  her  earliest  years  which 
it  would  be  so  desirable  to  furnish.  A  few  extracts 
from  letters  received  in  answer  to  an  application  for 
information  upon  this  point  is  all  that  can  here  be 

Says  one,  *'  Lydia  was  always  a  good  child,  and  very 
obedient  to  her  parents.  As  a  child,  she  was  of  very 
sedate  habits  and  conscientious  principles ;  a  good 
scholar  also,  and  very  fond  of  reading ;  ardent  in  her 
attachments  and  well  calculated  to  gain  friends." 

Another  correspondent,  after  confirming  the  above, 
adds,  "  hers  was  a  happy  temperament  naturally. 
From  childhood  she  viewed  mankind  and  their  conduct 
through  a  bright  medium,  always  thinking  and  speak- 


ing  well  of  every  one  so  long  as  it  was  possible.  Sucli 
a  temper  and  habit  sanctified,  was  a  blessed  possession, 
shedding  love  and  peace  on  all  around  ber.'' 

Another  writes,  "  Lydia  was  a  very  sedate  child, 
always  orderly,  neat,  and  industrious ;  carefully  ob- 
servant of  the  proprieties  of  life,  as  well  as  nicely 
attentive  to  the  feelings  and  wishes  of  others,  particu- 
larly if  they  were  her  elders  or  superiors.  Indeed, 
reverence  for  age  and  authority  seemed  constitutional 
with  her.''  That  these  traits  which  budded  in  her 
early  childhood  came  to  a  rich  maturity  in  her  riper 
years,  and  bore  most  precious  fruit,  all  who  knew  Mrs. 
Bacon,  will  bear  the  most  unqualified  testimony. 

But  it  will  doubtless  be  asked  by  a  reader  here,  was 
the  youthful  Lydia  a  child  of  God?  We  are  con- 
strained to  answer — no.  This  was  her  ovm  testimony, 
repeatedly  given  to  the  writer  of  these  pages  as  well  as 
to  many  other  friends  :  "  I  thouglit  I  loved  God  when  I 
was  a  child,''  she  would  say,  "  and  indeed  I  should  then 
have  been  very  much  grieved  had  any  one  questioned 
it,  but  it  was  the  Grod  of  Xature,  only,  or  perhaps 
rather  the  God  of  my  oivn  imagination  whom  I  loved. 
I  was  an  enthusiastic  admirer  of  Nature,  and  knowing 
it  to  be  the  handiwork  of  God,  I  loved  him  as  its 
author.  Sometimes,  too,  I  admired  Him  as  the  God 
of  providence,  particularly  when  I  saw  some  striking 
manifestation  of  his  interposing  hand  in  my  own  favor, 
or  in  that  of  my  friends.  But  the  God  of  the  gospel — a 
Being  infinitely  holy,  hating  sin  and  bound  to  punish 
the  guilty — such  a  God  was  not  in  all  my  thoughts." 

This  statement  is  corroborated  by  one  who  knew  her 
well,  and  who   in    answer   to   inquiries   respecting  her 


early  religious  character  says,  ''  Lydia  was  always  a 
serious-mincled  girl,  loving  the  liouse  and  people  of 
God,  but  I  think,  without  a  radical  change  of  heart  until 
after  her  residence  at  Sackett's  Harbor.  There  Christ 
revealed  himself  to  her  as  her  Saviour,  and  there  she 
consecrated  her  all  to  him,  and  was  as  actively  engaged 
in  Christian  efforts  as  since  you  have  known  her." 

Early  in  the  spring  of  1807  she  was  happily  married 
to  Mr.  Josiah  Bacon  who  was  not  only  a  resident  of 
her  native  city,  but  had  been  for  years  her  school  com- 
panion and  playmate.  More  than  once  has  the  writer 
heard  her  pleasantly  allude  to  this  fact,  and  to  their 
early  mutual  attachment,  which  resulted  in  their  union 
at  the  age  of  twenty-two.  Her  husband  having  a  mil- 
itary taste,  soon  after  entered  the  Army  of  the  United 
States  as  a  Commissioned  Officer,  being  Lieutenant 
and  Quarter-master  in  the  4th  regiment  of  IT.  S. 
Infantry,  then  commanded  by  Col.  John  P.  Boyd. 
After  being  stationed  at  Fort  Independence,  and  also 
at  Fort  Hale  for  a  season,  the  regiment  to  which  Mr. 
Bacon  belonged  was  ordered  to  Pittsburgh,  Pennsyl- 
vania, and  his  young  wife  at  once  resolved  to  accom- 
pany him.  We,  who  enjoy  the  present  facilities  for 
travel  can  hardly  imagine  the  tedium  of  a  voyage  from 
Boston  to  Pittsburgh  forty-four  years  ago.  I  am  sure 
I  shall  startle  the  flying  passengers  upon  our  railways, 
when  I  state  that  thirty-eight  days  hardly  sufficed  to 
make  the  journey  which  is  now  compassed  in  as  many 
hours.  Surely  if  the  succeeding  forty  years  shall 
witness  an  equal  rate  of  improvement  in  the  speed  of 
traveling,  the  inventive  genius  of  the  next  half-cen- 
tury will  be  taxed  to  devise  JwldbacJcs. 


But  to  return  to  our  narrative,  wliicli  will  now  be 
continued  in  Mrs.  Bacon's  own  words,  slie  having  pre- 
pared (at  tlic  request  of  a  favorite  nephew)  an  account 
of  her  travels,  and  of  the  scenes  through  which  she 
passed  during  the  well-remembered  war  of  1812.  This 
account,  as  she  states,  was  made  up  from  letters  writ- 
ten at  the  time  to  her  friends,  and  extracts  from  her 
journal,  and  commences  with  the  date  of  her  embarka- 
tion with  the  troops  for  Philadelphia  en  route  for  Pitts- 
burgh, whither  her  husband,  as  Commissary,  had  pre- 
ceded his  regiment  to  prepare  for  its  arrival. 

^^  3fay  9tJi,  1811.  Having  obtained  mother's  consent 
that  my  sister  A.  (just  15  years  of  age)  should  accom- 
pany us  as  far  as  Philadelphia,  we  proceeded  to  the 
fort  in  the  barge  which  had  been  sent  to  convey  us  to 
the  vessel  which  was  there  waiting  for  the  troops  to  em- 
bark. We  arrived  safe  on  board  about  eight  o'clock  in 
the  evening,  and  commenced  our  voyage  with  a  fair 
wind  and  fine  weather.  The  second  day  out  I  was  very 
sea-sick,  but  my  young  sister  proved  an  excellent 
sailor,  not  being  affected  at  all  by  the  motion  of  the 
vessel.  On  the  third  day  out,  we  arrived  at  Martha's 
Vineyard,  where  we  were  detained  by  headwinds  for 
several  days.  But  this  was  not  at  all  unpleasant,  for 
us,  as  we  had  friends  with  whom  we  passed  our  time 
very  agreeably. 

''^ May  lQ>th.  Continued  our  voyage  very  pleasantly, 
although  my  former  companion  (sea-sickness)  returned 
the  moment  we  left  the  land,  and  remained  with  me 
until  we  saw  it  again,  which  was  not  for  several  days. 


I  kept  on  deck,  however,  as  mucli  as  possible,  finding 
that  the  best  remedy  for  sickness. 

"  On  going  up  the  Delaware  Bay,  as  if  to  vary  the 
scene,  a  thundergust  overtook  us.  It  was  of  short 
duration,  but  very  violent.  Sickness  confined  me 
wholly  to  my  berth  during  the  squall,  but  my  sister 
enjoyed  the  sublimity  of  the  scene  very  much ;  it  being 
the  first  storm  at  sea  which  she  had  ever  witnessed. 
Indeed,  she  would  not  leave  the  deck  until  the  captain 
thought  it  imprudent  for  her  to  remain  any  longer. 
When  we  entered  Delaware  Eiver,  my  disagreeable 
companion  (sea-sickness)  fled,  leaving  me  to  the  full 
enjoyment  of  the  fine  air  and  beautiful  scenery  which 
surrounded  me.  Noble  farms  upon  each  side  of  the 
river  attracted  our  gaze,  and  delighted  us  with  the 
plenty  and  comfort  which  they  exhibited.  The  con- 
trast was  great  with  what  we  had  left  at  home,  for  at 
this  early  season  in  New  England,  vegetation  had  but 
just  commenced,  and  here  all  the  first  fruits  were  rap- 
idly advancing  to  maturity.  We  went  ashore  at  the 
Lazaretto,  where  we  were  to  stop  for  a  short  time.  This 
place  is  a  few  miles  from  the  city  of  Philadelphia,  and 
enchanted  us  with  the  luxuriance  of  its  vegetation. 
Here  we  amused  ourselves  with  examining  all  that 
was  curious ;  among  which  were  some  old  trees  which 
had  been  wounded  in  the  Revolutionary  War,  and  still 
contained  the  shot  embedded  in  their  trunks. 

"  At  this  place  we  found  other  companies  belonging  to 
the  same  regiment  as  ours  which  had  been  ordered 
here  to  meet  us.  These  companies  had  been  previously 
stationed  at  New  London,  Connecticut,  and  at  New 
Castle,  Delaware.     The  captain  of  the  company  from 


New  Castle  was  accompanied  by  liis  wife,  a  lovely 
woman,  with  wliom  I  formed  a  friendship  which  solaced 
many  an  hour  while  our  beloved  husbands  were  on 
duty,  separated  from  us,  and  which  continued  while  life 

This  lady  (Mrs.  Capt. )  died  some  years  since 

and  was  heartily  mourned  by  her  friend,  IMrs.  B. 
Often  has  the  writer  heard  the  latter  speak  of  this 
friend,  of  the  pleasures  and  trials  which  they  shared 
together,  and  well  does  she  recall  the  touching  em- 
phasis with  which  she  once  said  ''  she  was  the  sister  of 
my  souL'^  This  is  mentioned  as  a  proof  of  the  tender- 
ness and  constancy  of  her  friendsliips.  But  we  will 
resume  the  narrative. 

"  We  had  relatives  in  Philadelphia  whom  we  antici- 
pated seeing  as  soon  as  we  should  arrive.  But  it  was 
not  convenient  to  go  to  the  city  the  first  night,  and  we 
were  obliged  to  remain  at  the  Lazaretto,  which  we 
would  gladly  have  avoided ;  for  the  place  was  so 
crowded  on  account  of  the  additional  troops  that  we 
were  compelled  to  take  such  acommodations  as  we  could 
get.  For  the  first  time  in  our  lives,  sister  A.  and  myself 
reposed  upon  the  floor,  with  a  blanket  and  pillow.  This 
of  course  seemed  rather  hard  to  those  who  had  always 
been  accustomed  to  a  soft  bed,  but  we  were  young, 
and  blest  with  a  good  share  of  health  and  spirits  which 
soon  made  seeming  difficulties  vanish. 

"  The  next  morning  we  went  to  the  beautiful  city  of 
Philadelphia  which  I  had  so  long  wished  to  behold,  and 

were  received  by  our  dear  Cousin  P with  all  the 

cordiality  which  we  could  expect  or  desire.  Our  friends 
did  all  tlicy  could  to  make  the  time  there  pass  pleas- 


antly  and  profitably,  but  alas  !  tlicj  passed  swiftly 
also,  and  soon  tlie  day  arrived  when  we  must  be  sepa- 
rated from  them,  and  from  my  dear  young  sister  who 
must  return  to  our  parents  in  Boston.  The  remem- 
brance of  this  visit  will  never  leave  me ;  those  were 
some  of  '  the  white  days  '  which  a  kind  and  beneficent 
Providence  strews  in  our  path  as  we  pursue  our  pil- 
ffrimao-e.  I  never  saw  those  dear  cousins  ao'ain,  for 
they  paid  the  debt  of  nature  a  few  years  after. 

^^  June  Isf,  1811.  The  troops  took  up  the  line  of 
march  from  Philadelphia  for  Pittsburgh,  and  Mrs.  P., 
Mrs.  G.  and  myself  went  in  the  stage-coach,  under  the 
care  of  a  nephew  of  Col.  Boyd's  who  was  traveling  for 
his  health.  The  weather  was  serene,  the  roads  were 
good,  and  all  nature  appeared  in  its  richest  dress.  The 
land  from  Philadelphia  to  Chambersburgh,  (which  lies 
at  the  foot  of  the  Alleghany  mountains,)  is  rich  and 
highly  cultivated.  Large  farms  with  barns  of  spacious 
dimensions,  built  of  stone,  meet  the  eye  in  every  direc- 
tion. But  our  attention  was  particularly  attracted  by 
the  sight  of  Dutch  girls  performing  the  labor  of  men  in 
the  fields,  and  we  w^ere  greatly  amused  by  seeing  large 
numbers  of  swine  feeding  in  rich  clover  up  to  their 
backs.  I  had  often  heard  of  ^ ings-  in  clover ^^  but 
never  saw  it  realized  before. 

"  PittsburgTi,  June  2Gt7i.  We  arrived  here  ten  days 
since,  after  a  somewhat  tedious  but  delightful  journey 
— tedious  on  account  of  the  extreme  roughness  of  the 
roads  over  the  mountains,  which  did  not  fulfill  the 
promise  of  the  commencement  of  our  ride.     And  yet  we 


found  great  delight  in  tlie  beauty  of  tlie  landscape  by 
which  we  were  continually  surrounded.  For  on  every 
side  was  exhibited  to  our  admiring  gaze  a  constant 
succession  of  scenery  at  once  grand,  sublime,  awful  and 
sweet.  A  variety  of  emotions  filled  my  mind  at  these 
surveys  of  God's  works  ;  every  thing  seemed  calculated 
for  instruction,  comfort  and  pleasure.  And  while  con- 
templating these  wonders  and  beauties  our  sense  of  de- 
pendence on  their  Divine  Author  seemed  more  firmly 
fixed  in  our  hearts.  Oh,  could  we  be  sensible  of 
his  goodness  to  us  we  should  not  let  a  murmuring 
thought  arise,  but  should  be  wholly  resigned  to  his  will, 
whatever  that  will  might  be. 

"  The  stages  over  the  mountains  were  very  bad,  the 
roads  equally  so ;  and  we  were  obliged  to  walk  the 
horses  in  the  ascent  for  several  miles  together.  Some- 
times for  a  change  we  would  all  get  out  and  walk,  and 
during  the  roughest  of  the  way  the  seats  were  taken 
out  from  our  vehicle,  straw  spread  upon  the  bottom  of 
it,  and  the  passengers  stowed  in  like  baggage.  But  to 
those  who  desired  to  view  the  landscape  as  we  passed 
along,  the  last  arrangement  was  most  unsatisfactory, 
and  we  resolved  that  we  would  rather  endure  the  jolting 
upon  our  seats  than  be  deprived  of  this  pleasure.  So 
the  seats  were  restored,  and  you  may  just  imagine  to 
yourself  Lydia  seated  at  the  coach  window,  to  which  she 
was  obliged  to  hold  on  with  both  hands,  straining  every 
nerve  and  muscle  to  maintain  her  equilibrium. 

*'  On  one  side  my  neighbor's  elbow  was  constantly 
pounding  me,  on  the  other  the  stage,  which  was  neither 
lined  or  stuffed,  was  bruising  me,  while  my  head  was 
often  thrown  against  the  top  till  I  feared  my  brains 


would  be  dashed  out.  But  all  this  I  bravely  endured 
for  the  sake  of  beholding  the  scenery. 

"  At  a  distance  the  mountains  towered  to  the  clouds, 
and  in  some  instances  the  tops  were  lost  in  them.  On 
one  side,  and  within  a  foot  or  two  of  the  carriage  wheels 
fell  an  awful  precipice,  at  whose  base  a  beautiful  river 
quietly  glided  along,  unmindful  alike  of  the  danger  or 
the  admiration  of  the  travelers.  After  a  little  turning 
we  would  ride  through  this  stream  and  then  again  cross 
it  upon  a  rude  bridge,  and  often  afterward  it  would  be 
seen  in  the  distance.  We  were  obliged  to  lock  the 
wheels  upon  descending  the  mountains,  and  when  we 
came  to  a  narrow  place  in  the  road  the  driver  would 
blow  his  tin  horn  vociferously  to  warn  any  teams  which 
might  be  approaching  to  avoid  danger  by  stopping 
where  we  could  safely  pass  them.  The  distance  across 
the  mountains  by  the  road  which  we  traveled  vfas  one 
hundred  and  sixty  miles,  and  this  it  took  us  several 
days  to  accomplish. 

"  There  are  some  pretty  and  thrifty  villages  among 
the  mountains,  where  we  passed  the  nights  during  our 
journey.  The  one  which  pleased  me  most  was  called 
Bedford.  We  lodged  there  the  second  night.  It  was 
situated  in  a  beautiful  valley,  which  was  watered  by  a 
very  lovely  stream — the  Juniata.  I  was  reminded  of 
Johnson's  Kasselas,  who  was  born  in  a  similar  valley, 
and  like  it  so  entirely  surrounded  by  mountains  that  he 
lived  to  the  age  of  man  ere  he  learned  there  was  any 
other  world  beside  the  spot  he  inhabited." 

The  following  description  of  Pittsburgh,  to  which 
place  Mrs.  Bacon's  journey  had  now  brought  her,  it  will 
be  recollected,  was  written  more  than  forty  years  ago. 


Its  appearance  as  described  here,  is,  of  course,  in  striking 
contrast  with  its  present  aspect,  and  may  not  only  afford 
amusement  but  instruction,  as  indicating  the  rapid 
strides  of  our  Young  America : 

"  Pittsburgh  is  a  pleasant  village  surrounded  by 
mountains.  On  one  side  the  Monongahela  river  laves 
its  banks,  on  the  other  the  pure  waters  of  the  Alleghany 
unite  and  mingle  with  the  beautiful  Ohio.  This  village 
is  famed  for  its  manufactories  ;  the  people  appear  very 
industrious  and  engrossed  in  the  all  important  business 
of  accumulating  wealth.  A  great  deal  of  coal  is  used 
here,  which  gives  the  village  a  very  dirty  appearance. 
The  children's  faces  (as  you  see  them  in  the  street)  look 
as  if  they  were  strangers  to  water,  though  so  many 
beautiful  rivers  are  running  by  their  doors. 

"  We  have  seen  a  number  of  factories  and  a  large  flour 
mill,  the  labor  of  which  is  expedited  by  steam,  the  flour 
being  carried  by  this  means  through  all  its  different 
grades  until  it  is  snugly  packed  in  the  barrel !  There 
is  also  a  fine  glass  factory  here.  We  saw  some  of  the 
cut  glass — the  first  ever  done  in  our  country.  The 
first  steamboat  ever  built  for  these  waters  has  just  been 
launched  ;  if  it  were  now  ready  we  might  have  the 
pleasure  of  going  in  it.  We  visited  Grant's  Hill,  a 
place  conspicuous  not  so  much  from  the  loftiness  of  its 
summit  as  from  its  having  been  a  scene  of  battle  during 
the  Kevolutionary  war.  We  had  a  terrible  thunder-storm 
to-day  ;  the  thunder  was  tremendous,  accompanied  with 
vivid  lightning  and  with  rain,  which  drenched  the 
streets  like  a  flood.  I  believe  the  thunder  is  always 
more  violent  among:  the  mountains  than  in  a  level 
country.     The  heat  is  oppressive,  but  it  does  not  make 

BIOGRAPnY   OF   MRS.    LYDIA   B.    BACON.  13 

US  sick.  All  kinds  of  provisions  are  clieap  and  of  a 
good  quality. 

*'  The  military  quarters  are  small  and  will  not  accom- 
modate all  our  regiment.  The  Colonel  resides  with  his 
staff  at  the  quarters,  with  the  exception  of  my  husband^ 
who  prefers  to  live  iviih  his  tvife,  the  rest  board  or  live  in 
hired  houses.  Lieut.  G.  and  wife,  Josiah  and  myself, 
with  some  of  our  brother  officers,  have  hired  a  new 
brick  house  on  Market  street,  and  all  live  at  one  table. 
For  this  my  husband  provides,  and  sees  that  our  fare  is 
cooked  and  served  in  good  order.  This  is  but  little 
trouble,  as  we  have  plenty  of  servants,  and  those  that 
are  pretty  fair,  though  all  men. 

**  The  military  quarters  here  were  built  by  General 
Wilkinson,  and  resemble  an  elegant  country  seat.  In 
the  rear  of  the  house  (which  is  both  commodious  and 
splendid,)  is  a  large  garden  arranged  with  much  taste. 
All  kinds  of  fruit  trees,  shrubbery  and  flowers  charm 
the  eye  and  please  the  palate,  while  the  odors  which 
perfume  the  air  leave  nothing  wanting  which  a  refined 
taste  could  desire.  A  canal  runs  through  this  garden, 
over  wdiich  is  a  Chinese  bridge  with  seats  around  it. 
The  Colonel  has  tea-parties  frequently,  and  entertains 
his  company  in  the  garden,  while  an  excellent  band  at 
a  distance  and  unseen  discourses  fine  music.  The  whole 
appears  like  enchantment.  At  one  of  these  parties  a 
few  days  since  I  w^as  sitting  on  the  bridge  under  the 
shade  of  a  beautiful  tree  in  conversation  with  some  of 
the  company.  Happening  to  cast  my  eye  into  a  walk 
at  some  little  distance,  I  saw  our  gallant  Colonel  upon 
his  knees  presenting  to  a  beautiful  damsel  her  glove 
which  she  had  let  fall,  perhaps  on  purpose.  This  chiv- 


alrous  incident  amused  me  mucli,  especially  in  connec- 
tion witli  their  difference  in  age,  the  gentleman  being 
more  than  fifty  and  the  young  maiden  I  should  judge 
about  sixteen. 

"  July  27 til.  Since  writing  the  above  we  have  received 
orders  to  proceed  to  Newport,  Kentucky,  on  the  Ohio 
River,  about  five  hundred  miles  from  this  place.  We 
are  to  descend  the  river  in  keel-boats,  covered  like 
houses  ;  the  sides  w^e  can  open  or  close  as  we  please, 
and  stop  at  night  if  we  choose.  The  river  is  narrow, 
and  in  many  places  you  can  call  across  it  and  be  heard 
quite  plain.  We  are  told  that  it  is  very  pleasant  sail- 
ing on  the  river,  but  we  should  greatly  prefer  stopping 
here  for  the  present.  We  are  comfortably  quartered, 
are  much  pleased  with  the  people,  who  are  both  atten- 
tive and  hospitable,  hut  go  we  must.  The  evenings 
here  are  delightful  after  the  excessive  heat  of  the  day. 
Soon  as  the  sun  retires,  the  families  sit  at  their  doors, 
or  walk  with  uncovered  heads,  that  they  may  enjoy  the 
soft  breezes  of  twilight.  Sometimes  our  band,  in  a 
boat,  will  navigate  each  side  of  the  village  and  send 
forth  exquisite  strains  of  music.  These  echoing  among 
the  mountains  produce  a  charming  effect,  reminding  me 
of  something  which  I  have  read  of  but  never  expected 
to  realize.  All  this  is  truly  delightful,  but  we  must 
leave  it.  The  Indians  are  committing  depredations 
upon  the  white  inhabitants  located  upon  our  Western 
frontier,  and  the  Governor  of  Indiana  has  requested 
some  regular  troops  to  assist  in  keeping  them  quiet. 
This  is  the  cause  of  our  removal  at  tliis  time. 


"  August  2d,  10  A.  M.  Embarked  on  board  the  boats 
for  Newport.  The  fleet,  (if  I  may  so  call  it,)  consisted 
of  eleven  boats.      Ou7'  party  consists  of  Mr.  and  Mrs. 

A with  ber  two  young  brothers,  Mr.  G and 

wife,  husband  and  self  We  went  forty  miles  to-day, 
and  at  night  stopped  at  Custard  Island.  The  ground 
not  being  good  we  slept  in  the  boats,  and  a  curious 
figure  we  made  indeed.  "We  were  obliged  to  place  our 
beds  on  the  floor  of  the  cabin,  and  we  ladies  slept  there 
together,  while  our  husbands  spread  blankets  upon  the 
seats  or  lockers  at  the  sides  of  the  cabin,  and  all  thus 
enjoyed  comfortable  repose,  after  the  novelty  of  the 
scene  allowed  us  composure  to  court  the  drowsy  god. 
This  is  a  very  pleasant  way  of  traveling.  We  are  as 
comfortable  as  if  in  a  house,  have  our  regular  meals 
cooked  and  served  in  good  style  by  our  own  servants, 
and  our  reading,  conversation  and  needlework,  together 
with  our  admiration  of  the  passing  scenery,  fills  up  the 
time  pleasantly  and  profitably. 

"  This  river  is  very  winding,  and  in  some  places 
the  bends  are  so  peculiar  that  you  seem  to  be  sailing 
upon  a  pond  with  no  outlet,  and  wonder  how  you  are 
ever  to  find  your  way  out.  And  at  such  times  I  cannot 
help  fancying  the  Indians  with  their  tomahawks  and 
scalping  knives  peeping  at  us  from  behind  the  trees  and 
bushes,  and  ready  to  raise  their  murderous  yells. 

''August  3d     We  were  awoke  at  daylight  by  the 
reveille,  and  left  Custard  Island  about  five  o'clock  in  the 
morning.     We  passed  the   towns   of  Steubenville  an 
Charleston,  both  of  which  are  handsome  places.     The 
weather  is  fair  and  there  is  a  fine  breeze  on  the  water. 


^^EigJit  o'clock,  P.  M.  It  is  a  lovely  moonliglit  evening, 
and  we  have  stopped  at  the  foot  of  a  beautiful  bank  on 
which  are  several  log  houses  swarming  with  children, 
who  seem  as  merry  and  happy  as  possible.  The  soldiers 
have  pitched  their  tents,  made  their  fires  and  are  pre- 
paring their  suppers.  The  ladies  are  making  their 
husband's  beds,  and  every  thing  is  lively  around  me. 
How  I  wish  my  distant  friends  could  take  a  peep  at  us 
and  help  me  laugh. 

"  August  4^th.  We  were  aroused  this  morning  by  the 
drums  beating  the  tune  which  accompanies  these  words : 

*  Don't  you  hear  yom-  General  say, 
Strike  your  tents  and  march  away.' 

Our  pilot  plays  v/ell  upon  the  bugle,  and  the  echoes  and 
re-echoes  among  the  hills  are  wonderful  and  delightful. 
One  infant  has  died  to-day ;  happy  child,  thus  early 
escaped  from  this  world  of  sin  and  sorrow,  and  gone 
where  there  will  be  no  more  sickness  and  no  more 
death !  It  was  a  soldier's  babe  ;  the  ofiicers  have  no 
children  with  them.  We  are  having  a  pleasant  time. 
The  river  is  perfectly  smooth,  and  we  are  going  with 
the  stream  ;  of  course  we  pass  along  very  rapidly.  Our 
boat  is  seventy  feet  long,  twelve  wide  and  seven  high. 
It  has  no  sails,  and  is  propelled  by  twent3^-two  oars. 
There  are  many  small  islands  in  the  river,  which  add 
much  to  its  beauty. 

"  We  were  obliged  to  stop  at  one  o'clock  on  account  of 
a  squall  coming  on.  For  awhile  the  prospect  seemed 
rather  gloomy  ;  but  the  tempest  soon  passed  by,  doing 


US  no  damage,  and  we  proceeded  on  our  way.  The 
weather  was  most  delightful  after  the  shower,  and  I 
longed  to  have  my  friends  here  to  enjoy  the  scene  with 

"  August  iJtJi,  P.  31.  Stopped  at  Marietta,  which  lies 
upon  the  Ohio  and  Muskingum  rivers.  The  inhabitants 
are  principally  New  Englanders,  who  were  engaged  in 
the  employment  of  building  vessels.  This  they  found 
very  lucrative ;  but  the  embargo  came  and  put  a  stop 
to  their  business,  and  of  course  injured  the  place  very 
much.  My  husband  and  myself,  in  walking  about  the 
streets,  were  struck  with  the  stillness  which  prevailed. 
In  consequence  of  the  dullness  of  business  many  of  the 
inhabitants  have  moved  away ;  in  some  of  the  streets 
we  found  the  clover  quite  high,  and  in  others  there  was 
hardly  a  footpath.  I  was  forcibly  reminded  of  Gold- 
smith's Deserted  Village.  The  place  is  beautifully 
situated  and  well  laid  out,  and  we  walked  until  fatigue 
compelled  me  to  return  to  our  boat.  But  my  husband 
with  some  of  his  brother  officers  rambled  farther  to 
visit  some  Indian  mounds  in  the  vicinity. 

*'  I  hoped  to  have  gone  ashore  at  Blennerhasset 
Island,  but  the  rain  prevented  me.  It  must  be  well 
worth  seeing,  if  the  description  of  it  which  I  have  just 
read  from  'The  Western  Tour'  be  correct.  A  short 
extract  from  that  account  I  will  here  copy  for  the 
benefit  of  my  friends  : 

"  '  On  ascending  the  bank  from  the  landing,  one 
quarter  of  a  mile  below  the  Eastern  end  of  the  island, 
we  entered  a  handsome  double  gate  with  pillars  of  hewn 
stone.     A  graveled  walk  led  us  about  one  hundred  and 


fifty  paces  to  the  house.  This  was  situated  with  a 
meadow  on  the  left,  and  a  shruhhery  on  the  right, 
separated  hy  a  low  hedge,  through  which  we  could  see 
innumerahle  flowers  displaying  themselves  to  the  sun. 
The  house  is  large  and  handsome.  The  shruhhery 
before  mentioned  was  well  stocked  with  all  manner  of 
flowers,  and  a  variety  of  evergreens,  (not  only  those  nat- 
ural to  the  climate,  hut  exotics,)  surrounded  the  walks, 
whicli  were  graveled  and  wound  in  labyrinthine  style, 
through  this  enchanted  spot.  The  garden  is  not  large 
but  seems  to  have  every  variety  of  fruit,  flowers  and 
vegetables  which  this  fine  climate  and  luxurious  soil 
could  produce.  In  short,  Blennerhasset's  Island  is  a 
most  charming  retreat  for  a  man  of  fortune'  fond  of 
retirement,  and  is  perhaps  not  exceeded  in  beauty  by 
any  situation  in  this  Western  world.  It  lacks,  however, 
the  variety  of  mountains,  precipice,  cataract,  distant 
prospect,  &c.,  which  constitute  the  grand  and  sublime.' 

"  The  foregoing  description  was  given  several  years 
ago.  Since  then  the  unfortunate  owner  was  concerned 
with  Aaron  Burr  in  his  treasonable  designs  against  the 
Union,  and  was  obliged  to  abscond  from  this  charming 
retreat.  At  present  its  inhabitants  are  a  few  slaves, 
who  raise  hemp.  The  entrance  is  choked  with  bushes, 
yet  the  whole  has  a  romantic  appearance.  The  farther 
we  proceed  down  this  river  the  more  level  the  country 
becomes  and  the  more  cultivated ;  indeed,  we  have 
almost  lost  sight  of  the  mountains. 

"  August  QtJi,  A.  31.  Cur  boats,  last  night,  were 
locked  two  together,  yet  the  current  drifted  us  forty 
miles.     It  was  a  dark,  rainy  night,  but  the  Colonel 


"being  anxious  to  reacli  Newport  as  soon  as  possible 
tlionglit  best  to  continue  on  instead  of  sto2:)ping  for  the 

nigbt  as  heretofore.     We  went  over  L Ealls,  but  I 

did  not  see  tbeni,  because  old  JMorpbeus  bad  blinded  my  • 
eyes.  We  ladies  experienced  no  inconvenience  from 
this  arrangement,  but  our  poor  husbands  were  obliged 
to  take  their  watch  on  deck,  and  in  consequence  were 
wet  to  the  skin.  We  are  at  this  moment  opposite  a  log 
house  situated  in  a  cornfield,  and  the  corn  is  actually 
higher  than  the  house.  We  can  just  see  a  troop  of  chil- 
dren playing  about  the  door. 

'^August  7  th.     We  drifted  much  last  night,  and  this 
morning  stopped  half  an  hour  and  landed  at  a  thrifty 

farm.     Here  we  found  a  son  of  old  Justice  G ,  of 

Boston.  In  early  life  he  married  a  young  lady  in  St. 
Domingo,  and  they  were  happily  residing  on  that  island 
when  an  insurrection  among  the  blacks  obliged  him  to 
flee  with  his  wife  and  mother.  They  succeeded  in 
reaching  this  country  with  a  remnant  of  their  property, 
and  settled  upon  the  Ohio.  Here  they  have  remained 
twelve  years  ;  they  ivork  hard  but  sleep  sound.  Their 
greatest  trouble  is  the  want  of  educational  privileges  for 
their  children,  who  are  very  intelligent  and  promising. 
Having  heard  of  a  good  school  about  twenty  miles  from 
their  location,  (this  was  the  nearest  within  their  reach,) 
the  father  with  two  of  his  children  accompanied  us  in 
our  boat.  We  found  him  a  very  intelligent  and  agree- 
able companion. 

^^  August   Sth.      Although   our   boats   were    lashed 
together  last  night,  yet  two  ran  ashore  in  consequence 


of  tlie  fog,  and  a  soldier  sleeping  on  deck,  encumbered 
with  a  heavy  watcli  coat,  &c.,  fell  overboard  and  sunk 
to  rise  no  more.  Poor  fellow  !  be  was  summoned  in  an 
unexpected  moment  into  an  unknown  world,  and  left 
some  hearts  to  bleed,  no  doubt,  for  his  untimely  end. 
Our  boat  got  on  to  what  they  call  a  sawyer.  These  are 
trees  carried  by  freshets  into  the  river,  and  catching  to 
the  bottom.  When  the  water  is  low,  (vv^hich  is  generally 
the  case  at  this  season  of  the  year,)  these  sawyers  are 
very  dangerous.  The  tops  being  just  above  water, 
boats  often  catch  in  them  and  are  much  damaged,  and 
sometimes  sunk.  When  we  struck,  the  jar  and  noise 
awoke  us  from  a  sound  sleep,  and  alarmed  us  not  a 
little ;  but  a  kind  Providence  preserved  us  from 
destruction,  and  we  received  no  material  damage. 

"  We  stopped  this  evening  at  a  beautiful  place  with- 
out a  name,  and  took  a  pleasant  walk  along  the  bank. 
We  are  in  the  habit  of  buying  butter,  eggs,  &c.,  as  we 
go  along,  and  have  found  them  abundant,  cheap  and 
good.  Needing  some  butter  now,  we  called  at  a  house 
hoping  to  have  our  wants  supplied  ;  but  the  good  house- 
wife very  carelessly  told  us  that  she  had  been  making 
soap  that  day,  and  not  having  sufficient  grease  had 
supplied  the  deficiency  with  butter.  What  a  country, 
thought  I,  where  people  can  afford  to  use  sweet  butter 
for  soap  grease ! 

"  August  9th.  Arrived  at  Newport  and  found  decent 
quarters  in  a  comfortable  location.  This  is  a  military 
depot.  Cincinnati  lies  directly  opposite,  and  is  said  to 
he  a  flourishing  toivn.     I  intend  going  to  see  it  to-day. 

"  The  view,  as  seen  from  this  side  of  the  river  reminds 


me  more  of  Boston  than  any  place  that  I  have  yet  seen. 
Thirty  years  ago  it  was  almost  a  wilderness.  I  can 
only  account  for  its  rapid  growth  by  the  fact  that  the 
settlers  are  principally  Yankees.  I  long  much  to  see 
my  dear  mother  and  sisters,  and  New  England  friends, 
but  as  my  beloved  husband  was  obliged  to  come  here, 
I  have  never  for  a  moment  regretted  that  I  accompa- 
nied him.  It  is  a  great  comfort  that  we  can  be 
together,  and  I  have  the  satisfaction  of  feeling  that  I 
am  performing  my  duty.  This  place  is  healthy,  we 
are  both  well,  the  season  is  delightful,  and  we  have  an 
abundance  of  fruit,  which  is  here  both  plenty  and 
cheap.  How  long  we  shall  be  allowed  to  remain  here 
is  altogether  uncertain.  We  are  now  awaiting  farther 
orders.  I  hope  they  may  be  to  stay  here  or  to  return 
to  Pittsburgh,  but  fear  we  shall  be  destined  still  farther 

At  Newport,  Capt.  and  Mrs.  Bacon  formed  the 
acquaintance  of  a  family  by  the  name  of  Taylor.  The 
gentleman  was  a  brother  of  General  Taylor,  afterwards 
President  of  the  United  States.  He  owned  a  beautiful 
plantation  a  short  distance  from  the  military  quarters, 
upon  the  bank  of  the  river,  and  treated  Mr.  and  Mrs. 
B.  with  the  utmost  attention  and  hospitality.  He 
often  sent  them  delicious  fruit,  aud  frequently  invited 
them  to  his  house.  Years  afterward,  Mrs.  Bacon  writes, 
"  Very  pleasant  is  the  recollection  of  the  hours  passed 
in  their  society.  Sweet  was  our  social  converse  when 
seated  in  the  calm  twilight,  on  the  front  piazza,  over- 
looking the  splendid  lawn  which  spread  its  green  car- 
pet to  the  edge  of  the  river.  The  fruit  trees  on  either 
side  of  the  mansion  were  loaded  with  their  rich  treas- 


iires  wliicli  not  only  delighted  the  eye  but  regaled  the 

^^  S&pt,  2d,  1811.  Oar  fears  are  realized;  ^ye  arc 
ordered  still  farther  west,  and  ao;ain  find  ourselves  in 
our  boats  upon  the  Ohio.  We  have  much  to  engage 
our  attention,  but  my  thoughts  often  recur  to  my 
absent  friends,  whom  I  fondly  love,  and  I  trust  that 
neither  time  or  distance  will  ever  diminish  my  affec- 
tion. I  have  no  female  companion  \Aih.  me  on  the 
boat  now.  Our  family  consists  of  Col.,  Capt.  S.,  hus- 
band and  self.  Our  cabin  is  quite  large,  and  we  are 
very  well  accommodated.  On  account  of  the  lowness  of 
the  water,  which  renders  navigation  dangerous  by 
night,  our  boats  stop  at  evening,  and  those  who  choose, 
can  sleep  in  tents  on  shore. 

''  Sept.  3d  Last  night  the  boats  were  anchored  under 
a  high  bank,  and  as  the  summit  presented  nothing 
very  inviting,  we  hardly  thought  it  worth  while  to 
ascend  it.  But  our  minds  were  soon  changed  by  the 
report  of  some  of  the  gentlemen  whose  curiosity  led 
them  to  reconnoitre  a  little  distance.  They  brought 
with  them  some  beautiful  straw  hats  which  they  had 
purchased  of  a  Swiss  family,  whom  they  found  located  a 
short  distance  from  the  river.  About  thirty  families 
had  taken  up  their  residence  here,  being  driven  from 
their  own  country  by  the  troubles  in  France.  They 
fled  to  our  peaceful  shores,  and  purchasing  some  land 
of  our  government,  planted  vineyards,  the  produce  of 
which  enables  them  to  realize  the  comfort  and  inde- 
pendence which  they  fondly  anticipated. 


"  We  purcliasecl  some  of  their  wine  made  from  Madeira 
and  other  grapes,  and  those  who  considered  themselves 
judges  of  the  article  pronounced  it  excellent.  But  for 
my  part,  I  much  prefer  the  grapes  unpressed.  We 
went  into  one  of  the  vineyards  ;  it  was  a  charming 
sight.  The  house  was  pleasantly  situated,  and  the 
yard  laid  out  with  good  taste.  "We  approached  the 
front  door  through  rows  of  vines  (supported  by  poles 
five  or  six  feet  high)  loaded  with  clusters  of  ripe 
grapes,  while  the  peach  and  nectarine  trees  swept  the 
ground,  so  heavily  were  they  laden  with  the  delicious 
fruit.  The  family  were  neatly  dressed ;  a  number  of 
fine,  healthy  children  adorned  the  front  yard,  the  grass 
of  which  having  been  newly  mown,  perfumed  the  air 
with  its  fragrance.  It  was  one  of  the  finest  twilights 
I  ever  saw.  We  tarried  until  the  full-orbed  moon 
warned  us  that  it  was  time  to  depart.  We  left  with 
great  reluctance,  and  like  our  mother  Eve,  on  leaving 
her  beautiful  Eden,  we  cast  a  long  and  lingering  look 
behind.  I  bad  often  read  of  such  charming  spots  ;  but 
thought  they  existed  only  in  the  author's  brain,  yet  I 
must  say  that  my  eyes  hero  beheld  a  sight  equal  to 
any  thing  of  which  I  ever  read.  This  place  is  called 
Yevay,  in  Indiana. 

"  Sept.  4:fh.  We  arrived  at  Jefiersonville  this  morn- 
ing at  nine  o'clock,  and  now  the  boats  are  preparing  to 
go  through  the  Eapids.  The  water  is  very  lov/  and  it 
is  found  necessary  to  take  all  the  baggage  out,  and 
send  it  round  by  land.  The  distance  is  three  miles 
and  it  takes  only  thirteen  minutes  to  go  by  water. 
Lieut.   G's  boat  with  himself   and  wife,  and   Mr.  and 


Mrs.  A.  lias  gone  over  safely.  We  could  go  by  land, 
inasmucli  as  my  liusband  being  quarter-master,  lias 
cbarge  of  the  property.  But  we  prefer  to  run  all  risks 
wMch  are  necessary  for  tlie  rest  of  tlie  officers  and  their 
wives.  It  is  rather  critical  navigation  here ;  we  are 
obliged  to  have  two  pilots,  one  at  the  bow  and  the  other 
at  the  stern. 

"  Sqyt.  4:tJi.  We  are  safe  over  the  Rapids ;  it  was 
frightful  indeed.  It  seemed  like  being  at  sea  in  a 
storm,  surrounded  by  breakers.  The  clouds  were 
heavy,  the  wind  was  high,  and  a  thunderstorm  threat- 
ening us  which  burst  upon  us  just  as  we  got  into  port. 
We  had  no  passengers  in  our  boat  except  Capt  P.  and 
lady,  and  ourselves,  the  soldiers  having  gone  by  land. 
We  stood,  while  passing  the  Rapids,  with  our  eyes 
stretched  to  their  utmost  width,  tliat  we  might  see  the 
whole  in  its  perfection  ;  although  hardly  daring  to  take 
a  long  breath  under  the  fear  that  our  boat  might  strike 
the  rocks. 

"  We  have  laid  below  the  falls  these  two  days,  and 
have  been  highly  interested,  viewing  the  petrifactions 
which  are  abundant  and  extremely  curious.  I  have 
taken  some  specimens  along  with  me  that  I  may  show 
them  to  my  friends  some  future  day  should  I  ever  have 
the  good  fortune  to  meet  them.  Indeed,  I  often  wish 
that  I  could  transport  them  here,  that  they  might 
behold  with  me  the  wonderful  works  of  nature.  We 
are  fast  approaching  the  lowlands.  From  Pittsburgh 
thus  far,  there  has  been  a  constant  succession  of  hills 
and  vales ;  but  in  a  few  hours  a  vast  extent  of  level 
country  will  open  to  our  view.     We  are  come  to  the 

BIOGRAPHY   OP   MRS.    LYDIA   B.    BACON.  25 

lowlands.  The  contrast  is  great ;  not  a  mountain  or 
hill  now  meets  the  eye.  This  is  a  pleasant  way  of 
traveling — every  thing  goes  on  as  regular  as  if  at 
housekeeping.  Oar  cook  prepares  his  food  well,  and 
does  the  laundry  work  admirably.  We  drink  the 
river  water ;  it  tastes  very  well,  but  I  do  not  like  to 
think  of  the  dirt  that  is  thrown  into  it.  Last  nio-ht  we 
had  a  recruit  added  to  our  number,  in  the  shape  of  a 
bit  of  female  mortality  born  in  a  tent  on  the  banks  of 
the  Wabash,  whicli  river  we  are  now  ascending.  Our 
progress  is  slow  and  very  difficult,  the  current,  which  is 
against  us,  being  very  strong.  We  could  go  as  far  in 
ttvo  days  with  the  current  in  our  favor,  as  we  can  in 
twelve  with  it  setting  against  us.  To  add  to  our  diffi- 
culties, the  Eiver  Wabash  is  full  of  snags,  sawyers,  and 
sand-bars,  and  the  night  air  is  so  damp  that  if  exposed 
to  it  we  are  in  danger  of  fever  and  ague.  And  here  I 
must  record  fn  furious  account  of  an  attack  of  that 
disease  which  I  heard  from  a  western  settler :  '  You 
see,  ma'am, ^  said  he,  *  we  had  just  got  moved  into  our 
new  house,  when  I  was  took  down  with  that  pesky 
ague.  First  came  the  chills,  and  I  shook  so  hard  that 
all  the  plasterin'  fell  off  my  walls ;  next  the  fever  riz, 
and  made  my  room  so  hot  that  the  lathes  Jcetched  afire, 
and  I  should  have  been  burnt  to  death  hadn't  the 
sweatin^  turn  come  on  so  powerful  as  to  drench  the 
room  with  water,  and  quinch  the  flames.' 

^^Oct  1st.,  1811.     We  arrived  at  Yincennes,  Indiana 

Territory,  and  find  all  engaged  for  a  campaign  against 

the   Indians.     Our   health    is   very   good   at   present, 

although   my  dear   Josiah   has   been  burnt  with  gun- 



powder,  wliicli  might  have  destroyed  life  had  not  a 
kind  Providence  prevented.  He  was  priming  his  gun, 
for  the  sake  of  shooting  some  wild  fowl  which  are 
plenty  on  the  river.  The  flint  of  the  gun  heing  rather 
long,  struck  fire  into  the  powder,  in  the  pan  hy  coming 
in  contact  with  it  in  shutting.  The  flask,  which  con- 
tained nearly  half  a  pound  of  powder  exploded,  throw- 
ing the  contents  into  his  face,  burning  his  eyebrows 
and  lashes  close.  He  shrieked,  and  putting  his  hands 
to  his  face  took  the  skin  entirely  off.  He  could  not  see 
at  all  for  a  fortnight,  and  we  sometimes  feared  that  he 
never  would  see  again.  But  a  simple  curd  made  of 
new  milk  and  vinegar  cured  his  eyes,  and  an  applica- 
tion of  oil  and  brandy  alternately  applied  to  his  face 
healed  it  rapidly. 

''  Just  after  he  was  burnt,  I  took  a  violent  cold  by 
being  out  to  view  the  comet,  which  had  just  made  its 
appearance,  and  was  quite  sick  in  consequence.  We 
were  two  pitiable  objects,  neither  able  to  help  the  other 
and  yet  both  needing  assistance.  When  we  arrived  at 
Vincennes,  no  carriage  could  be  procured,  although  I 
was  hardly  able  to  step,  from  debility,  and  my  poor 
Josiah  could  not  see  at  all ;  so  we  both  had  to  be  led. 
The  night  was  dark  and  rainy,  but  amid  all  these  difii- 
culties  we  reached  our  lodgings  at  the  only  public 
house  in  the  village.  It  proves  to  be  a  very  good  house, 
although  overcrowded  at  present.  But  we  shall  be 
better  accommodated  when  the  officers  from  Ohio  and 
Kentucky  are  gone. 

"Gov.  Harrison  called  upon  me  to-day,  previous  to  his 
departure  for  his  Indian  campaign.  He  had  on  a 
hunting-shirt  (as  they  call  it  here,)  of  calico,  trimmed 


witli  frill  o-e.  In  form  it  resembled  a  woman's  short- 
gown  ;  only  the  ends  were  pointed  instead  of  being 
square,  and  were  tied  in  a  hard  knot  to  keep  the  gar- 
ment snug.  On  his  head  sat  a  round  beaver,  grace- 
fully ornamented  with  a  white  ostrich  plume.  He  is 
tall  and  slender,  with  dark,  piercing  eyes,  and  most 
pleasing  manners,  and  certainly  exhibited  not  only 
politeness  but  benevolence,  in  thus  noticing  a  poor  sick 
stranger.  It  made  an  impression  upon  my  mind  w^hich 
will  never  be  effaced. '^ 

Little  did  Mrs.  Bacon  think  when  thus  describing  the 
person  and  manners  of  Gov.  Harrison  that  she  spoke  of 
the  future  President  of  these  United  States.  And  as 
little  did  she  foresee  that  distant  future  when  his  kind 
remembrance  of  herself  and  husband  should  secure  to 
them  a  position  of  usefulness  and  comfort  in  their  de- 
clining years.     But  we  will  not  anticipate. 

*'  Oct.  5th.  The  troops  have  left  Vincennes  to-day. 
It  was  a  sad  sight  to  see  them  depart  for  war.  A 
number  of  fine  young  men,  volunteers  from  Ohio  and 
Kentucky,  left  their  studies  in  college  to  participate  in 
this  campaign.  How  many  of  them  will  return  in 
safety  to  their  homes  and  kindred  none  but  God  can 
tell !  My  husband's  sight  continuing  very  Aveak,  it 
was  not  thought  prudent  for  him  to  go  on  with  the 
troops.  So  the  charge  of  Fort  Knox  is  assigned  him 
together  with  the  care  of  the  invalid  soldiers. 

'^Oct.  8th.  So  here  we  are  at  Fort  Knox,  a  stockade 
or  military  depot  on  the  banks  of  the  Wabash.  I  have 
not  a  single  female  associate,  but  I  have  my  husband 

28  BIOGRAPHY   OF   MRS.    LYDIA   B.    BACON. 

and  so  all  is  ivell.  I  venture  alone  sometimes  outside 
tlie  pickets,  but  although  a  soldier's  wife,  I  lay  no 
claim  to  heroism.  And  as  I  do  not  relish  the  idea  of 
being  scalped  by  our  red  brethren,  I  never  venture  far, 
but  strive  to  content  myself  with  those  sources  of 
enjoyment  which  are  within  my  reach.  I  read,  write, 
sew,  converse,  and  think  of  absent  friends  whom  it 
seems  to  me  I  never  loved  better  than  now.  Josiah's 
eyes  are  getting  strong  fast,  and  he  is  impatient  to 
rejoin  his  regiment.  Indeed,  he  has  besought  the 
physician  to  pronounce  him  well  enough,  and  has  be- 
sides written  to  his  colonel,  requesting  that  he  will  order 
him  to  join  him. 

"  Oct  0th.  My  husband  has  received  the  order  to 
rejoin  his  regiment.  This  is  very  much  to  his  satisfac- 
tion, though  not  exactly  to  mine.  Inglorious  ease  suits 
me  better  than  it  does  him.  Although  we  have  been 
here  only  a  week,  we  must  pack  up  and  be  off  to  Viu- 
cennes  again. 

'*  Oct  lOtJi.  My  dear  husband  is  gone  to  the  army, 
and  I  am  boarding  at  Vincennes,  with  a  Mrs.  Jones.  I 
have  a  very  pleasant  companion  in  Mrs.  Witlock,  the 
wife  of  an  officer  commanding  another  regiment.  They 
are  Virginians.  I  have  had  a  return  of  the  fever  and 
ague,  and  Mrs.  W.  has  nursed  mo  like  a  sister.  The 
troops  are  eighty  miles  from  this  place,  building  a  fort. 
The  Indians  in  that  neighborhood  have  as  yet  mani- 
fested no  decided  hostility  towards  them,  but  they  are 
so  deceitful  and  treacherous  that  no  reliance  can  be 
placed  upon  their  good  will.     The  British  furnish  them 

BIOGRAPHY   OF   MRS.    LYDIA   B.    BACON.  29 

with  arms,  ammunition,  and  rations.  I  hear  that 
Colonel  Miller  has  been  very  ill,  and  was  obliged  while 
sick  to  lie  upon  the  ground '  in  a  tent.  He  is  now 
better.  I  should  like  very  much  to  ask  him  and  the 
rest  (who  were  so  impatient  to  go)  how  they  like  their 
new  situation.  AVe  have  had  no  cold  weather  here  yet, 
though  it  is  now  November.  Indeed,  I  have  not  once 
sat  by  a  fire  during  the  past  six  months.  We  expect  to 
stay  here  all  winter,  which  is  a  disagreeable  prospect  to 
me,  for  I  do  not  much  fancy  the  place  or  the  people. 
Dear  New  England,  I  love  thee  better  than  ever.  Oh, 
shall  I  be  so  happy  as  to  visit  thy  blest  scenes  once 
more,  for  blest  indeed  they  are  to  me. 

'*  This  place  (Vincennes)  was  settled  about  one  hun- 
dred years  since  by  the  French.  Judging  by  the 
present  appearance  of  the  place,  its  original  inhabitants 
could  not  have  had  much  enterprise  or  industry.  The 
people  are  mostly  Eoman  Catholic,  and  in  their  habits 
not  much  superior  to  the  Indians.  The  local  situation 
of  the  place  is  very  pleasant.  It  lies  upon  a  clear 
stream  of  water  which  affords  a  variety  of  fish,  besides 
the  more  important  facilities  of  easy  intercourse  with 
the  neighboring  states  and  territories.  The  village  is 
perfectly  level  with  the  exception  of  three  mounds 
which  are  situated  at  the  rear  of  the  place.  These  are 
supposed  to  have  been  raised  by  the  Indians  some 
centuries  since,  but  for  what  purpose  we  can  only 
conjecture.  They  are  quite  ornamental,  and  the  centre 
mound  is  easy  of  access,  having  a  foot-path  winding  up 
on  the  back  side.  I  rode  to  the  top  of  it  on  horseback. 
Perhaps  future  generations  may  see  this  a  flourishing 
place.     There  are  now  a  few  American  families  here, 


and  tliose  are  emigrants  cliiefly  from  Virginia  and 
Kentucky.  Slavery  has  been  tolerated  here,  but  I  am 
happy  to  say  that  it  is  being  removed.  Land  in  this 
western  country  needs  but  little  labor  to  prepare  it  for 
cultivation  compared  with  ours  at  the  east,  but  then 
produce  does  not  command  so  good  a  price  here." 

The  writer  hopes  that  our  western  neighbors  will  not 
feel  scandalized  by  this  meagre  description  of  a  place 
now  so  important  and  flourishing  as  Vincennes.  If  the 
reader  will  bear  in  mind  that  this  account  was  penned 
more  than  forty  years  ago,  they  will  not  need  to  be 
told  that  it  can  in  no  respect  (except  that  of  location) 
accurately  describe  the  present  aspect  of  this  thrifty 
and  beautiful  place.  American  emigration  and  Amer- 
ican enterprise  have  far  outstripped  even  the  eager 
anticipations  of  the  most  sanguine,  and  left  the  sober 
calculations  of  the  prudent  at  a  marvelous  distance. 

But  we  must  return  to  the  journal  of  Mrs.  B.  which 
carries  us  back  to  an  event  that  long  after  its  accom- 
plishment lingered  like  a  spell  upon  the  nation's  lips, 
and  became  the  watchword  of  political  combatants,  and 
the  talisman  of  their  success.  This  was  tlie  battle  of 

^^  Nov.  SOtJi,  1811.  Have  been  for  some  days  very 
desirous  to  hear  from  our  regiment,  as  my  imagin- 
ation oft  pictures  my  dear  husband  in  the  midst  of 
danger  and  death.  Oh,  may  he  be  mercifully  spared. 
News — news  from  the  army  has  just  arrived!  My 
precious  Josiah,  after  being  exposed  to  that  most  horrid 
of  all  battles — an  Indian  attack — has  been  preserved 
in  safety.     I  cannot  describe  my  feelings — words  can- 

BIOGRAPHY   OF   MR?.    LYDIA   B.    BACON.  31 

not  do  justice  to  tliem.  I  hope  that  this  new,  tliis  great 
mercy,  may  be  the  means  of  raising  our  thouglits  to 
God,  our  Creator  and  Preserver,  who  has  watched  over 
us  ever  since  we  had  a  being,  and  has  done  us  good, 
and  only  good,  continually.  Oh,  is  it  not  strange  that 
beings  so  dependent  should  so  little  realize  their  utter 
weakness.  And  stranger  still,  that  creatures  so  unde- 
serving should  live,  daily  recipients  of  the  divine 
bounty,  and  feel  no  corresponding  emotions  of  love  and 

''I  do  not  regret  that  Josiah  was  in  this  battle,  for  1 
trust  that  the  goodness  of  God  in  thus  saving  his  life, 
has  made  impressions  on  both  our  hearts  which  will  not 
easily  be  effaced.  His  duty  as  quarter-master  was 
particularly  arduous,  of  course,  on  a  march.  And 
although  he  was  not  attached  to  any  particular  com- 
pany, yet  he  was  equally  exposed  to  danger  with  those 
who  were.  While  bridling  his  horse,  one  ball  went 
through  his  hat,  and  another  passed  through  the  skirt  of 
his  coat,  just  hitting  his  boot  and  the  hoofs  of  his  horse. 
The  army  was  encamped  in  a  hollow  square,  on  a  rising 
piece  of  ground,  the  tents  all  facing  outward,  beyond 
which  a  guard  was  placed.  Suspicious  of  the  Indians, 
(although  they  were  apparently  friendly,)  the  troops 
had  retired  to  their  tents  with  their  clothes  on,  and 
their  weapons  of  war  by  their  side.  Thus  they  tried  to 
sleep,  but  I  am  sure  their  slumbers  could  not  have  been 
very  sweet  or  refreshing.  The  Indians  attacked  them 
a  little  before  day  which  is  their  usual  method.  The 
first  gun  was  heard,  and  the  regulars  were  at  their 
post  in  a  moment.  The  enemy  had  their  faces  painted 
black,  which  is  their  usual  custom  in  an  attack.     This 


our  troops  could  only  see  bj  tlie  light  afforded  at  the 
flashing  of  the  guns,  but  accompanied  by  their  tre- 
mendous war-whoop  and  the  groans  of  the  wounded,  it 
rendered  the  scene  terrific  indeed.  Yet  amidst  it  all 
our  troops  never  faltered,  but  answered  the  whoop  with 
three  hearty  cheers.  This  dreadful  battle  lasted  until 
daylight,  when  the  Indians  were  completely  routed  and 
compelled  to  retire  with  great  loss. 

"  Lieutenant  Peters  relates  an  affecting  incident  of 
this  battle.  Among  the  militia  from  Kentucky  was  a 
Captain  Spencer  who  had  been  in  tivelve  Indian  cam- 
paigns. He  was  accompanied  in  this  expedition  by  his 
son,  an  intelligent  boy  about  twelve  years  of  age. 
This  brave  little  fellow  had  a  gun  adapted  to  his  size, 
went  on  guard  in  his  turn,  and  fought  like  a  man. 
During  the  fight  the  darkness  prevented  any  one  from 
knowing  w^ho  had  fallen.  Each  feared  for  his  fellow. 
As  soon  as  the  fight  was  over,  this  poor  boy  sought  his 
father,  but  alas  !  he  was  not  among  the  living — the 
hero  of  so  many  battles  had  at  last  met  his  fate.  And 
a  gentleman  searching  for  his  friends  found  this  afflict- 
ed child  weeping  over  the  mangled  body  of  his  father. 
My  heart  aches  for  him,  and  for  his  distressed  mother, 
who  is  left  poor,  with  a  large  family  of  children  to  be 
supported  by  her  own  exertions.  Alas !  many  others 
are  made  widows  and  orphans  by  this  dreadful  fight. 
Oh,  when  will  brother  cease  to  lift  his  hand  against  his 
brother,  and  nations  learn  war  no  more  ! 

**  Oh,  what  a  day  was  that  when  we  at  Vincennes 
heard  of  this  battle  of  Tippecanoe.  Receiving  at  first 
a  mere  report  of  the  attack  and  victory  without  any 
official  communication,  and   of  course  without  any  de- 


tails,  each  of  us  expected  to  hear  sad  news  from  our 
dear  ones,  and  for  hours  our  souls  were  harrowed  to  tlie 
quick,  and  agonized  with  suspense  and  dread.  At 
length  the  express  arrived  with  letters,  yet  his  feelings 
were  so  excited,  that  he  could  not  select  and  deliver 
them,  hut  poured  them  out  indiscriminately  into  my 
lap.  I  was  so  overcome  with  apprehensions  for  my 
hushand  that  I  could  neither  see  nor  read,  and  passed 
them  into  the  hands  of  a  lady  who  stood  by  me.  Her 
hushand  not  being  in  the  war,  she  was  more  calm  and 
composed,  and  soon  was  enabled  to  find  me  my  letter. 
When  told  that  the  address  was  in  Josiah's  own  hand- 
writing, I  could  hardly  believe  it.  My  bodily  weakness 
was  great,  being  just  recovering  from  the  ague  and 
fever,  and  this,  aggravated  by  my  intense  anxiety 
respecting  my  dear  husband,  caused  me  to  sink  faint- 
ing upon  the  nearest  chair.     Eecovering  soon,  however, 

with   Mrs.   G kneeling  on   one  side   of  me,  Mrs. 

W on  the  other,  and  Mrs.  J in  front  of  me. 

I  opened  the  letter  and  began  to  read  it  aloud.  I  had 
proceeded  only  to  the  third  or  fourth  line,  which  con- 
tained the  assurance  of  his  safety,  when  we  all  burst 
into  tears  and  thus  relieved  our  aching  hearts.  Then 
I  was  able  to  finish  the  precious  document,  and  found 
that  my  beloved  husband  (now  more  dear  than  ever) 
and  those  whom  we  most  valued  had  escaped  without 
serious  injury.  There  were  but  two  married  men 
killed  from  our  regiment,  and  they  were  soldiers. 
Only  one  married  officer  from  the  4th  was  wounded. 
How  often  have  I  heard  or  read  of  Indian  fights  until 
my  blood  chilled  in  my  veins,  without  thinking  that  I 
should  ever  be  so  personally  interested  in  one. 


"  Oar  situation  at  Yincenncs  was  very  mucli  exposed 
while  the  troops  were  absent,  for  every  body  left  that 
could  handle  a  sword  or  carry  a  musket,  and  we  women 

remained   without   even   a   guard.     Mrs.   W and 

myself  had  loaded  pistols  at  our  bedside,  but  I  very 
much  doubt  whether  we  should  have  had  presence  of 
mind  enough  to  use  them,  had  we  found  it  necessary. 
If  the  Indians  had  been  aware  of  our  situation,  a  few 
of  them  could  have  burnt  the  village,  and  massacred 
the  inhabitants.  But  a  kind  Providence  watched  over 
us,  and  kept  us  from  so  dreadful  a  fate. 

"  Another  letter  brino-s  intellio-ence  of  the  death  of 
Capt.  Bean  who  was  tomahawked  in  a  shocking  man- 
ner. It  is  thought  by  the  distance  at  which  he  was 
found  from  camp  that  the  Indians  attempted  to  take 
him  prisoner,  and  that  he  chose  death  rather  than  submit 
to  what  he  knew  would  be  prolonged  torture.  He  was 
a  man  of  great  personal  beauty,  and  a  most  excellent 
officer,  and  commanded  the  love  and  esteem  of  his 
brother  officers  in  an  eminent  degree.  It  was  my 
husband's  painful  duty  to  see  him  interred.  This  he 
did,  and  disguised  the  grave  that  his  poor  body  might 
not  be  disturbed,  and  his  bones  left  to  bleach  upon  the 
plain.  The  others  who  died  during  this  murderous 
attack  were  all  buried  in  one  grave.  But  the  Indians 
dug  up  the  remains  and  left  them  a  prey  to  the  beasts 
of  the  forests,  who  by  the  way,  are  scarcely  more 
savage  than  themselves.  Our  regiment  (the  4th,) 
acquitted  themselves  with  much  honor  in  this  engage- 
ment, and  it  is  said  materially  contributed  to  secure 
the  victory.     But  victories  even  are  dearly  bought  with 

BIOGRAPHY   OF   MRS.    LYDIA   B.    BACON.  35 

the  loss  of  human  life,  tliat  life  which  God  gave,  and 
which  man  may  destroy  but  cannot  restore. 

'*  Some  Indian  chiefs  have  been  to  Gov.  Harrison  since 
the  battle,  and  seem  very  desirous  of  peace.  They  are 
much  exasperated  with  one  whom  they  call  their 
j^rophet,  who,  it  seems,  stimulated  them  to  the  fight 
with  the  assurance  that  they  should  be  victorious.  The 
result  having  proved  him  but  man,  their  confidence  in 
him  is  of  course  greatly  shaken.  We  are  keeping 
house  with  ]\Ir.  and  Mrs.  Whitlock,  and  are  very  com- 
fortably and  pleasantly  situated,  as  much  so  as  is  pos- 
sible among  entire  strangers.  We  eat  together,  but 
have  our  separate  parlors,  with  plenty  of  other  room, 
and  shall  not  therefore  necessarily  fatigue  each  other 
by  being  too  much  together. 

"  A  number  of  soldiers  have  died  of  their  wounds 
since  their  return  to  Vincennes.  Funerals  are  of  daily 
occurrence.  Yery  solemn  is  the  sight  and  sound,  for 
the  cofhns  are  followed  to  the  grave  by  soldiers  with 
arms  reversed,  marching  to  the  tune  of  '  Roslyn 
Castle,'  with  muffled  drums.  Poor  fellows  !  they  have 
paid  the  debt  of  nature,  with  no  kind  mother,  sister,  or 
wife  to  soothe  their  sorrows,  or  alleviate  their  distress, 
or  w^ipe  the  death-sweat  from  their  brow.  Strangers 
have  performed  the  last  sad  offices,  and  with  them  their 
dust  shall  rest  until  summoned  by  the  last  trump  to 
stand  before  the  Judge  of  the  quick  and  dead.^' 

A  letter  from  Mrs.  Bacon  to  her  mother  is  here 
inserted,  as  it  seems  to  take  up  the  thread  of  her  nar- 
rative and  brido:e  over  a  chasm  in  her  Journal.  It  is 
dated  Vincennes,  January  20th,  1812. 

36  BIOGRAPHY   OF   MRS.    LYDIA   B.    BACON. 

*'  I  cannot  describe  to  3^011,  my  dear  mother,  how 
anxiously  I  look  forward  to  the  time  when  I  may  once 
more  behold  you.  God  only  knows  whether  that  will 
ever  take  place.  May  He  spare  your  precious  life  and 
permit  us  yet  to  pass  many  happy  hours  together.  It 
is  now  nine  months  since  I  left  you.  This  is  a  long 
time  for  us  to  be  separated :  but  the  variety  of  scenes 
through  which  I  have  passed  has  caused  it  to  fly 

''  There  is  an  excellent  preacher  of  the  gospel  here. 
We  (with  the  friends  who  reside  with  us)  attend  upon 
his  ministry,  and  are  much  pleased  with  him.  He  is 
a  good  man  and  has  an  interesting  family.  The  Sab- 
bath here  is  very  little  observed,  most  of  the  people 
being  wholly  engrossed  with  this  world. 

"  We  were  very  much  alarmed  a  few  nights  since  by 
a  shock  of  an  earthquake.  We  were  roused  from  a 
sound  sleep  by  the  house  shaking  in  an  unusual 
manner.  My  first  impression  was  that  the  Indians 
were  assaulting  the  house,  but  we  soon  discovered 
our  mistake.  It  was  truly  alarming.  We  have  had 
several  shocks  since,  some  chimneys  have  been  thrown 
down  and  ceilings  cracked.  This  exhibition  of  Almighty 
power  has  excited  feelings  in  my  breast  different  from 
any  which  I  ever  before  experienced.  It  impresses  me 
with  the  uncertainties  of  life,  the  fallibility  of  all 
earthly  enjoyment  and  the  necessity  of  religion  to  give 
peace  and  happiness  here  and  prepare  us  for  a  solemn 
hereafter.  My  dear  sister,  youth  is  the  time  to  make 
that  preparation  for  eternity.  Piety  is  delightful  in 
the  young,  and  the  poet  says, 

BIOGRAniY   OF   MRS.    LYDIA   B.    BACON.  37 

*  Religion  never  Avas  designed 
To  make  our  pleasures  less.' 

"  I  felt  a  little  A'cxed,  dear  motlicr,  with  those  wives 
whom  you  mentioned  in  3-oiir  last  letter.  So  iliey 
would  prefer  staying  at  home  rather  than  suffer  such 
inconveniences.  Pray,  why  did  they  get  married  ? 
Never,  no,  never  for  a  single  instant,  have  /  heen 
sorry  that  I  accompanied  my  liushancl.  On  the  con- 
trary, I  feel  grateful  to  the  Author  of  all  our  blessings 
that  I  was  permitted  to  come,  to  bo  with  him  when 
sick,  and  to  encourage  and  comfort  him  under  the 
various  ills  which  flesh  is  heir  to.  Some  may  say  this 
is  enthusiasm  ;  but  really  I  think  we  have  been  mar- 
ried long  enough  to  find  out  whether  the  attachment 
which  has  grown  with  our  growth  and  strengthened 
with  our  strenojth  is  real  or  imaoinarv.^^ 

Surely  no  one  can  read  this  genuine  outburst  of 
devoted  conjugal  affection,  without  thoroughly  admir- 
ing its  author  both  as  a  woman  and  a  wife. 

Her  love  though  possessing  all  the  tenderness  and 
fervor  of  romance,  was  not  of  that  sentimental  kind 
which  expands  itself  in  fine  words  or  endearing  caresses. 
She  was  eminently  i)ractical;  and  while  some  wives 
(though  eloquently  bewailing  their  husband's  absence) 
preferred  their  pleasant  parlors  and  the  gayeties  of 
fashionable  life,  to  the  discomforts  of  travel  and  hard- 
ship in  their  husband's  company.  She  chose  the 
latter,  and  (as  she  so  feelingly  wrote)  never  regretted 
the  sacrifice.  But  we  must  return  to  her  journal 


wliicli  is  continued  under  date  of  Vincennes,  March 
lltli,  1812. 

''  We  expect  to  leave  tins  place  soon  ;  but  where 
our  destination  is  to  be  we  know  not.  We  can  only 
liope  it  Vv'ill  be  towards  home ;  but  of  this  there  is,  I 
suppose,  little  prospect.  The  boats  are  now  being 
prepared  to  convey  us  hence.  We  still  continue  to  feel 
repeated  stj-okes  of  tlie  earthquake.  I  often  rise  in  the 
night  to  examine  the  weather,  having  learned  by  obser- 
vation that  our  most  severe  shocks  have  been  experi- 
enced in  still,  lowering  weather. 

"  There  Avas  an  Indian  Council  held  here  last  week 
wliicli  curiosity  prompted  me  to  attend.  There  were 
about  seventy  of  these  hideous  creatures  painted  most 
grotesquely,  and  profusely  ornamented.  I  have  no 
doubt  but  to  their  admiring  eyes  they  looked  charm- 
ingly ;  for  '  there  is  no  accounting  for  the  difference  in 
tastes.'  One  side  of  their  faces  was  painted  red  and 
the  other  green.  They  were  bedecked  with  nose  and 
ear-jewels,  and  some  of  them  wore  silver  bands  upon 
their  arms,  and  medals  suspended  from  their  necks. 
One  still  more  fantastically  arrayed  bad  a  pair  of  cow's 
horns  upon  his  bead.  They  are  good,  natural  orators, 
but  all  they  said  had  to  be  interpreted.  After  the 
Council,  the  calunaet  of  peace  was  smoked.  This  is  a 
long  pipe  made  especially  for  the  purpose,  and  eacli 

one   takes    their   turn   in    smoking   it.     Mrs.    G 

smoked  with  them ;  but  I  kept  out  of  siglit  in  an 
adjoining  room,  as  I  had  no  inclination  to  taste  it 
after  its  being  so  richly  spiced  with  the  breath  of  so 
many  red  and  white  brethren.  Had  I  showed  myself 
in  the  room  where  the  Indians  sat,  I  should  have  been 


compelled  to  smoke  '  tlie  pipe  of  peace/  or  else  liavc 
incurred  their  suspicion  and  liatred.  So  I  acted  upon 
the  old  adage,  '  an  ounce  of  prevention  is  better  than 
a  pound  of  cure.' 

"  Before  the  Indians  left  our  village  they  gave  the 
inhabitants  a  specimen  of  their  agility,  by  dancing 
before  eacli  house.  Tlieir  music  was  made  by  means 
of  a  heg  with  deer-skms  drawn  over  it.  This  they 
strike  rapidly,  but  most  unskillfully,  making  a  doleful 
humdrum  noise.  Their  entire  dress  Avhile  dancing, 
consists  of  a  piece  of  cotton  cloth  around  their  waist. 
Their  squaws  and  pappooses  came  with  them.  When 
the  squaws  are  allowed  to  ride  (^whicli  by  the  way  is 
very  seldom,)  they  ride  upon  their  liorses  in  the  same 
manner  as  the  men.  Their  little  ones  are  lashed  to  a 
board  and  carried  upon  tlieir  backs.  When  tliey  stop, 
they  suspend  them  to  the  bough  of  a  tree. 

"  We  visited  what  is  called  a  sugar-camp  last  week, 
and  were  much  gratified  with  witnessing  the  process  of 
sugar-making.  This  part  of  the  country  abounds  in 
sugar-maples.  Large  trees  are  selected  in  which  holes 
are  bored  and  tubes  inserted.  These  tubes  convey  the 
liquor  which  runs  from  the  trees  into  a  trough  prepared 
for  its  reception.  It  is  very  clear,  and  pleasant  to  the 
taste.  This  is  boiled  in  large  kettles,  or  caldrons  ;  and 
when  sufficiently  done  (which  those  who  make  it  seem 
intuitively  to  know,)  it  is  made  into  sugar  by  being 
constantly  stirred  while  cooling.  This  article  is  most 
delicious,  as  all  who  have  tasted  it  will  testify.  The 
labor  of  making  it  here  is  performed  by  blacks,  super- 
intended closely  hy  their  mistress.  The  lady  whom  we 
saw  doing  it  in  this  instance,  was   a  person   of  great 

40  BIOGRAPHY   OF   MRS.    LYDIA   B.    BACON. 

rcspectabilitj  and  abundant  wealth.  I  enjoyed  my 
ride  to  tlie  sn gar-camp  verj  much.  It  was  a  beautiful 
afternoon  ;  the  air  was  mild  and  sweet,  the  weather 
delightful,  and  my  pony  upon  whose  back  I  rode, 
stepped  along  with  a  springy  gait  which  seemed  to  say 
that  he  enjoyed  it  too. 

"  This  climate  is  so  mild  that  I  have  put  on  no  extra 
clothing  this  winter  except  when  walking  or  riding. 
And  then  a  large  shawl  was  sufficient  even  in  the 
coldest  days.  Only  a  very  little  snow  has  fallen,  and 
this  disappeared  as  soon  as  it  touched  the  ground. 
Trees  bloomed  in  February,  and  the  gardens  are  now 
quite  forward.  Lettuce,  radishes  and  asparagus  we 
have  already,  and  this  without  the  assistance  of  hot- 

*^ March  Slst.  We  have  received  orders  to  proceed 
at  once  to  Detroit.  I  shall  go  the  rounds,  I  dare  say, 
ere  I  am  permitted  to  see  my  dear  mother  and  sisters. 
The  troops  are  to  go  h?/  land,  and  not  hi/  water,  as  was 
at  first  thought.  The  distance  from  A^incennes  to 
Detroit  by  the  route  we  are  to  take  is  six  hundred 
miles,  and  we  are  to  sleep  on  the  ground  in  tents.  It 
will  take  some  days  to  accomplish  this  journey.  We 
are  to  proceed  to  Xewport,  Kentucky,  from  thence 
cross  the  river  to  Cincinnati,  and  go  through  Ohio  to 
Michigan.  We  shall  pass  through  some  thriving  vil- 
lages, but  mostly  through  woods  and  prairies,  where 
none  but  the  hunter  and  the  Indian  have  penetrated. 
The  journey  looks  formidable  in  prospect.  Mrs. 
F ,  Mrs.  G and  myself  are  to  ride  on  horse- 
back.    My  husband  being  on  the  staff,  will  have  the 

BIOGRAPHY   OF   MRS.    LYDIA   E.    EACON.  41 

same  privilege.  So  I  shall  bo  spared  the  distress  of 
seeing  liim  encounter  the  liardships  wliich  those  who 
march  must  necessarily  endure.  I  Iiavc  been  learning 
to  ride  on  horseback,  and  like  it  much ;  but  how  I  shall 
succeed  in  riding  tlirough  swamps  and  fording  rivers, 
experience  alone  will  determine. 

"J%  Uth,  1S12.  Left  Vincenncs  to-day.  Our 
friends  here  manifested  much  regret  at  our  departure, 
which  I  fully  reciprocated  as  far  as  leaving  them  was 
concerned.  They  have  been  kind  companions,  and  we 
have  passed  our  time  most  agreeably  together.  Their 
cordial  and  affectionate  attentions  have  made  an  im- 
pression upon  my  heart  which  time  or  distance  will 

never   efface.     Dear   Mr.    and   Mrs. ,    may  they 

never  need  a  friend  !  or  if  they  do,  may  they  find 
those  wdio  will  repay  them  a  hundred  fold  for  their 
kindness  to  us. 

"  Six  o^elocJCf  P.  31.  I  have  just  seated  myself  with 
the  other  ladies  upon  the  trunk  of  a  tree.  This  makes 
a  pretty  good  sofa  considering  the  time  and  place.  I 
have  been  much  amused  wdth  seeing  the  soldiers  pitch 
their  tents,  wdiich  was  performed  with  much  alacrity 
and  order.  After  this,  in  most  primitive  styla,  -we  took 
our  tea,  or  rather  ate  our  suppers,  (which  we  did  with  a 
good  appetite,)  the  ground  serving  us  for  table  and 

"lo^A,  Ijvenivg.  We  went  fifteen  miles  to-day,  the 
roads  being  very  bad  and  our  progress  of  course  slow. 
The  weather,  however,  is  beautiful,  and  we  are  having 
fine  moonlight  nio-hts.      AVe  like  travelins:  on  horse- 


back  thus  far.  I  slept  finely  on  the  ground  last  niglit 
for  the  first  time  in  my  life.  A  hear-sJdn  was  our  bed- 
stead, and  a  buffalo  robe  our  bed.  The  Colonel  very 
gravely  begs  us  not  to  fall  into  the  cellar. 

''  IQth.  F  31.  We  ladies  went  on  ahead  of  the 
troops  to-day  with  some  soldiers  to  guard  us ;  and 
when  a  convenient  place  ofi'ered,  we  alighted  and  took 
'  a  siesta'  which  refreshed  us  exceedingly.  A  fire  was 
made  to  keep  the  musquitoes  off  who  are  very  annoying 
in  these  parts.  We  have  now  arrived  at  a  log  house, 
where  I  am  seated  upon  a  bed  for  want  of  chairs. 
The  fire-place  is  large  enough  for  a  room,  the  chimney 
is  built  of  logs  and  mud  ;  and  I  should  think  that 
when  it  rains  the  house  would  be  flooded.  I  am  told 
that  this  is  one  of  the  best  houses  between  Vincennes 
and  Louisville. 

"  17iJi,  A.  31.  It  rained  hard  all  last  night,  yet  I 
never  slept  better  in  my  life.  We  are  now  ready  to 
start.  Dear  mother  and  sisters !  how  I  wish  you 
could  see  us  now,  you  would  have  a  hearty  laugh  at  the 
comical  fi2:ure  which  we  exhibit.  I  have  a  laro-e  bao- 
hanging  to  the  pommel  of  my  saddle,  containing 
necessaries.  Among  other  things,  I  have  a  Bible  and 
Homer's  Iliad  (translated)  for  the  mind,  while  for  the 
stomach,  provision  is  made  in  the  form  of  a  huge 
sponge  cake  presented  by  a  friend  on  the  morning  of 
our  departure.  I  enjoy  myself  highly;  and  one  great 
source  of  my  pleasure  is  the  anticipation  of  yours,  if  I 
should  ever  be  permitted  to  relate  in  person  tlie  many 
curious  and  interesting  circumstances  which  occur. 

BIOGRArilY    OF    MRS.    LYDIA   B.    BACON.  43 

*♦  18^7?,  A.  31.  The  General  is  beating,  so  I  must  put 
away  my  pen  that  our  house  may  be  packed  for  marching. 

"  P.  31.  We  have  arrived  at  our  resting-place  for  the 
night.  The  raiu  has  poured  from  tlie  clouds  all  day. 
We  became  very  wet,  so  we  stopped  in  the  woods  and 
had  a  large  fire  made  for  drying  ns.  There  is  no  scarcity 
of  wood  here,  and  we  have  splendid  fires.  The  men 
gathered  heaps  of  dry  sticks  and  placed  them  against  a 
large  green  tree,  the  branches  of  which  served  as  a  shelter 
from  the  rain  while  we  dried  ourselves.  It  was  rather 
uncomfortable  drying  our  wet  garments  upon  us  in  this 
manner,  but  we  made  the  best  of  it.  Afterwards  we 
were  provided  with  umbrellas  and  went  on  very  well. 
The  fatigue  of  the  day  has  given  me  a  fine  appetite. 
Our  supper  is  ready,  and  Josiah  is  begging  me  to  eat, 
so  good-night,  dear  Journal,  and  dearer  absent  friends. 

''  Idtli,  A.  31.  We  have  a  bright  sun  this  morning, 
and  are  going  on  in  fine  health  and  spirits.  We  liave 
passed  through  some  beautiful  forests,  where  the  ground 
seemed  enamelled  witli  flowers.  My  feelings  to-day 
have  been  much  tried  by  seeing  the  soldiers'  wives 
trudging  along  on  foot,  almost  knee  deep  in  mud,  and 
some  of  them  with  a  child  in  tlieir  arms.  Only  four  or 
five  wagons  are  allowed  to  carry  the  baggage,  and  of 
course  the  poor  women  must  sufi*er.  I  should  think  it 
would  kill  them.  We  passed  two  houses  to-day  which 
were  deserted  by  the  inhabitants  through  fear  of  the 
Indians.  We  understand  that  a  camp  of  them  is  near 
us  on  a  hunting  excursion.  Our  friends  express  the 
fear  that  we  may  suffer  for  want  of  good  food.  Surely 
they  might  spare  such  concern  for  me  if  they  would 

44  BIOGRAPHY   OF   MRS.    LYDIA   B.    BACOX. 

only  remember  tliat  /  have  the  very  best  Bacon  in  the 
world  !  Mother,  you  would  laugh  to  see  our  cook  roast 
chickens.  He  takes  a  green  stick,  sharpened  at  the 
ends,  and  placing  the  fowl  upon  one  end  sticks  the  other 
in  the  ground  before  a  good  fire,  and  biddy  roasts  to  a 
charm.  Or,  if  a  joint  of  meat  is  to  be  cooked,  two 
sticks  are  put  in  the  ground  with  their  tops  shaped  like 
a  fork,  so  that  another  stick  can  rest  across  them. 
From  the  last  stick  the  meat  is  suspended  in  the  centre 
and  cooks  very  well  indeed.  We  have  a  pack-horse  who 
carries  a  pair  of  mess-boxes  for  our  accommodation. 
These  boxes  are  made  with  separate  apartments,  which 
contain  our  cups,  plates,  &c.  Our  tea  is  carried  in  can- 
nisters ;  our  table  is  the  hind-board  of  a  wagon  set  on  a 
portable  cricket  shutting  up  like  a  cot  bedstead.  Our 
candlestick  is  a  bayonet  with  the  point  in  the  ground, 
the  part  in  which  the  gun  fits  serving  admirably  for  a 
socket  to  put  the  candle  in. 

^^  P.  M.  To-night  vre  have  encamped  near  a  house. 
The  landlady  is  very  patriotic  and  gave  the  soldiers  a 
generous  supply  of  milk. 

"  22c?.  It  has  been  very  rainy  for  two  or  three  days 
past.  One  of  the  soldiers  was  taken  suddenly  ill  with 
cholera-morbus,  and  breathed  his  last  sio-h  in  a  bao^2:ao:e 
wagon.  He  was  buried  in  the  woods,  in  a  rude  bark 
coffin — the  only  one  of  which  the  times  would  admit. 

''23c?.  Every  step  brings  us  toivard  home,  yet  I 
fancy  it  will  be  long  ere  we  shall  see  it.  Dear  friends, 
I  think  if  I  could  see  you  once  more  I  could  sit  and  look 
at  you  for  a  month  at  least.     The  weather  is  still  dull 

CIOGRAPIIY    OF    MRS.    LYDIA   B.    BACON.  45 

and  Avct,  and  tlio  ground  in  a  bad  condition  to  lie  on. 
When  we  can  get  straw  we  put  some  under  our  bear- 
skin to  sleep  on,  and  when  the  straw  is  not  to  be  had 
we  substitute  tlie  leaves  of  trees  and  cover  them  with 
bark.  This  also  makes  an  excellent  carpet  for  our 
tents,  and  with  the  addition  of  a  fire  at  the  door  to  keep 
off  the  musquitoes  renders  us  very  comfortable.  Wc 
are  in  good  health,  eat  heartily  and  sleep  sound. 

•'  27th.  I  have  omitted  writing  for  several  days,  hav- 
ing nothing  pleasing  to  relate.  Our  men  get  sick  ;  two 
were  buried  this  morning.  I  believe  I  have  never 
mentioned  my  pony  particularly,  which  is  quite  ungrate- 
ful in  me.  She  is  a  character,  I  am  sure,  being  not 
only  clever  and  amiable,  but  stepping  to  the  sound  of 
the  drum  like  any  regular.  And  besides,  she  is  not 
afraid  of  the  guns,  minding  the  firing  no  more  than  I 
should  tlie  singing  of  the  birds.  I  sit  quietly  on  her 
back  while  the  men  discharge  their  pieces. 

"  2^th.  We  have  arrived  at  Louisville,  Kentucky. 
It  is  a  handsomo  and  flourishing  town  situated  on  the 
Ohio.  The  citizens  gave  our  officers  a  splendid  dinner 
in  honor  of  the  battle  of  Tippecanoe,  where  our  regi- 
ment was  associated  with  Kentuckians.  We  have  had 
a  delightful  time  here.  Kentucky  is  a  perfect  garden ; 
but  then  they  tolerate  slavery  \\crQ,  ^\\\\(A\  I  feel  to  be  a 
great  evil 

"  3£iy  20th.  We  liad  green  peas  and  strawberries 
to-day,  wliicli  were  very  acceptable.  As  we  pass  through 
Kentucky  great  respect  is  paid  to  our  regiment.     It  is 

46  BIOGRAPHY   OF   MRS.    LTDIA   B.    BACOX. 

amusing  to  see  what  a  parade  they  make  over  us. 
One   old  gentleman  asked  one  of  the  officers  '  if  those 

young  women,  (meaning  Mrs.  F and  myself,)  came 

all  the  way  from  Vincennes  ?'  He  was  told  that  we 
did,  and  that  one  of  us  had  been  the  whole  campaign  ! 
This  answer  filled  him  with  wonder  and  admiration. 
We  have  passed  through  Frankfort,  another  flourishing 
town  in  Kentucky.  The  inhabitants  treated  us  with 
every  possible  attention,  giving  a  dinner  both  to  the 
officers  and  soldiers.  And  when  we  vrere  leaving  the 
town  a  salute  was  fired,  accompanied  with  three  cheers. 

"  Neivport,  KeMuclnj,  June  7th.  "\Ye  have  once  more 
arrived  at  this  place  with  feelings  far  different  from 
those  with  which  we  left  here  last  summer.  Then  we 
were  going  farther  from  dear  New  England  ;  now  we  are 
going  towards  it,  which  is  a  great  satisfaction,  even  if 
we  do  not  very  soon  reach  it.  Oh,  there  is  nothing 
thrills  the  heart  of  the  wanderer  like  thought  of  home 
and  friends. 

''June  lOtJi.  We  crossed  the  Ohio,  at  Cincinnati,  at 
two  o'clock  this  afternoon.  The  boats  which  were  sent 
to  convey  the  troops  across  the  river  were  ornamented 
with  the  American  and  regimental  colors.  Two  com- 
panies of  Artillery  waited  on  the  bank  to  recciv^e  us. 
They  fired  a  salute,  and  then  escorted  us  througli  an 
arch  erected  for  the  occasion,  on  which  was  inscribed, 
*  To  the  Heroes  of  Tippecanoe.'  When  the  troops 
reached  the  encamping  ground  a  handsome  collation 
awaited  them,  which  had  been  prepared  by  the  hospi- 
tality   of  tlie   people   of    this   delightful   town.     The 

BIOGRAPHY   OF   MRS.    LYDIA   13.    BACON.  47 

officers   and  tlicir  ladies  liad  been  previously  invited  to 

General  G 's,   where  we  were  entertained  with  an 

elegant  and  liberal  hospitality. 

''  A  few  evenings  since  we  were  encamped  at  a  place 
called  Dry  Ridge,  in  Franklin  county,  near  a  public 
house.  A  puppet  show  had  drawn  together  all  the 
young  people  for  twenty  miles  round.  After  they  had 
examined  the  show  sufficiently,  the  day  not  being  nearly 
spent,  they  betook  themselves  to  dancing.  Some  of  us 
at  the  camp  hearing  of  the  fun  went  up  to  see  them. 
An  amusing  sight  truly  !  The  day  was  intensely  warm 
and  yet  they  danced  with  all  their  might.  They  were 
dressed  in  their  best  of  course :  skirts  very  short,  thick 
leather  shoes  with  sharp  toes.  The  lads  disencumbered 
themselves  of  their  coats  and  vests,  and  performed 
feats  of  activity  at  once  surprising  and  ludicrous,  while 
the  perspiration  flowed  copiously  down  their  heated  faces. 

''June  12th.  We  have  at  last  reached  Urbana, 
where  we  found  General  Hull  with  fifteen  hundred 
militia  waiting  for  our  regiment.  We  were  received 
with  great  respect  some  distance  from  the  town,  and 
escorted  into  Urbana  throuo-h  an  arch  ornamented  with 
oak  branches  and  laurel  from  the  forest.  In  the  centre 
of  this  arch  the  American  eagle  spread  her  broad 
pinions,  while  on  one  side  of  it  was  inscribed  '  Tippe- 
canoe,^ and  on  the  other  '  Glory.'  We  take  up  the  line 
of  march  tomorrow  for  Detroit.  A  party  precedes  us 
to  cut  roads  and  make  them  passable.  General  Hull 
and  Governor  Meigs,  of  Ohio,  called  on  the  ladies  of 
the  regiment  immediately  on  our  arrival.  These 
gentlemen  are  both  very  courtly  in  their  manners,  par- 

48  BIOGRAPHY   OF   MRS.    LYDIA   B.    BACOX. 

ticularlj  General  Hull,  who  is  Commander-in-Chief  to 
the  troops.  After  three  or  four  days  of  incessant  rain, 
accompanied  often  with  heavy  thunder  and  lightning, 
the  clouds  have  dispersed,  and  the  bright  sun  again 
greets  us  with  his  cheering  rays  Oh,  how  cheering 
after  so  long  an  absence  and  such  a  situation  as  ours  ! 
We  have  been  coming  through  dreadful  roads,  part  of 
the  way  being  entire  swamps,  and  all  of  us  being 
repeatedly  wet  through. 

"  Our  tent  was  one  wliicli  was  used  at  Tippecanoe, 
and  many  a  shot  lias  told  its  tale  in  its  canvass.  The 
holes  admit  the  air  freely,  and,  (when  it  rains,)  the 
water  also.  At  niglit  we  sleep  with  an  open  umbrella 
over  us  to  keep  the  rain  from  disturbing  our  repose. 
We  shall  stop  here  a  day  or  two  to  prepare  cartridges. 
The  troops  are  expecting  an  attack  from  the  Indians  ere 
we  reach  Detroit.  God  only  knows  what  is  before  us. 
Let  us  hope  that  such  a  calamity  may  be  averted  ;  it 
would  be  dreadful  with  such  a  number  of  women  and 
children  along. 

"  We  understand  that  a  number  of  Indians  arc  at 
Fort  Maiden.  The  Enolish  have  been  holdino-  n  coun- 
cil  with  them,  and  no  doubt  have  done  every  thing  on 
their  part  to  instigate  them  to  hostilities.  Breast- 
works are  made  every  night  around  our  encampment, 
by  felling  trees  and  heaping  tliem  on  each  other.  It 
seems  as  if  the  very  ground  trembles  as  the  mighty 
oak,  elm  and  maple  fall.  Both  the  officers  and  men 
sleep  with  their  clothes  on,  and  their  implements  of 
war  by  their  side.  T  wonder  how  my  dear  sisters  would 
feel  to  know  I  was  in  such  a  situation.  Doubtless  when 
they  read  this  they  will  shudder  at  the  idea  of  a  female 


being  so  exposed.  But  it  is  an  acknowledged  fact  that 
people  in  perilous  situations  do  not  so  deeply  realize 
their  danger  at  the  time  as  afterward.  I  feel  quite 
composed  and  those  around  me  seem  so  too,  but  I  hope 
our  courage  will  not  be  put  to  tlie  test. 

"  June  l^tJi.  We  have  arrived  sixty-tliree  miles  north 
of  Dayton,  and  five  beyond  the  Indian  boundary. 
Amid  the  noise  and  bustle  of  a  camp,  the  frequent  firing 
of  guns  and  rattling  of  drums,  my  heart,  (true  as  the 
needle  to  the  magnet,)  turns  to  the  dear  circle  of  loved 
ones  at  home.  More  quickly  than  the  bird  of  swiftest 
wing,  my  thoughts  fly  to  mother,  sisters  and  friends  ; 
and  as  imagination  depicts  yon  in  many  a  well  re- 
membered scene,  I  stretch  my  arms  with  the  earnest 
longing  to  be  once  more  in  your  midst.  God  speed  the 
happy  day  when  these  fond  fancies  shall  become  living 
realities,  and  these  warm  desires  be  swallowed  up  in 
their  blissful  fulfillment. 

"  We  are  encamped  on  a  spot  of  ground  to-day 
where  once  stood  an  Indian  village.  Very  little  re- 
mains to  show  that  human  beino;s  once  inhabited  this 
place.  Oh,  how  easily  may  every  vestige  of  man's 
presence  be  blotted  out,  so  that  the  places  that  once 
knew  him  shall  know  him  no  more  forever.  Not  so 
with  the  works  of  an  Almighty  hand.  '  He  speaks  and 
it  is  done  ;  he  commands  and  it  stands  fast.^  The 
ground  here  is  covered  with  strawberry  vines  full  of 
their  luscious  burden,  and  adorned  with  wild  roses  and 
other  flowers.  Even  in  one  corner  of  our  tent  is  a  very 
sw^eet  wild  rose  smiling  upon  us  in  its  beauty,  all  un- 
conscious of  the  pleasure  it  bestows  on  the  w^anderer 

50  BIOGRAPHY   OF   :MRS.    LYDIA   E.    BACOX. 

wlio  have  taken  up  tlicir  abode  liere  for  the  niglit. 
Could  my  dear  Eastern  friends  travel  with  me  through 
these  American  wilds,  and  sec  the  beauty  which  God 
has  lavished  where  there  are  none  to  admii-e,  much  less 
to  praise,  they  would  I  am  sure  share  in  my  wonder  and 
astonishment,  as  well  as  in  my  enjoyment.  These 
western  militia  are  very  different  from  regular  troops. 
They  seem  to  have  very  little  idea  of  order  and  discipline, 
and  think  they  may  do,  (as  did  Israel  of  old,)  every 
man  what  is  right  in  his  own  eyes.  Some  of  them  have 
been  guilt}"  of  great  insubordination.  One  man  for 
mutinous  conduct  has  been  tried,  and  sentenced  to  have 
his  head  shaved,  the  word  '  Tory '  written  on  his  back, 
and  to  be  drummed  out  of  camp  to  the  tune  of  the 
'  Ilogue's  March.'  1  shall  never  forget  the  poor  fellow^'s 
look  when  he  heard  his  sentence.  I  thought  he  would 
have  fainted.  He  fell  on  his  knees  and  besought  for 
pardon,  and  if  tJiis  ivere  impossible,  he  begged  they  ivould 
shoot  him.  He  could  bear  death  better  than  disgrace. 
He  said  that  he  had  a  wife  and  child  who  loved  him, 
and  whom  he  had  left  as  a  volunteer  to  serve  his  coun- 
try. Kot  understanding  military  law,  he  had  thought- 
lessly committed  this  fault.  I  looked  at  the  General, 
and  my  throbbing  heart  and  streaming  eyes  plead  for 
the  culprit,  and  I  longed  to  whisper  *  be  merciful  as  our 
Father  in  Heaven  is  merciful.'  The  poor  fellow  was 
then  led  through  the  camp,  and  while  his  sentence  was 
being  read  to  the  army,  the  barber  stood  by  ready  to 
shave  him.  But  the  General  interposed  and  pardoned 
him,  and  thus  not  only  made  the  poor  soldier  happy,  but 
conferred  joy  upon  all  who  witnessed  his  clemency. 
Had  they  proceeded  to  execute  the  sentence,  the  ladies 


of  tlio  army  with  one  accord  would  have  plead  on  his 
hehalf.  Oh,  when  I  saw  him  on  his  knees  imploring 
pardon,  my  mind  reverted  to  his  young  wife,  and  her 
distress  and  anguish  so  impressed  my  imagination  that 
I  was  well  nigh  overcome.  It  was  almost  too  much  for 
me.  I  do  not  like  to  witness  such  scenes,  hut  I  trust 
should  they  he  repeated  they  will  not  harden  my  heart. 
I  do  not  know  what  I  should  more  deplore  than  to  have 
my  sensibilities  rendered  callous  to  scenes  of  suffering." 

None  who  knew  Mrs.  Bacon  in  after  life  will  believe 
that  she  lost  any  of  her  quick  and  tender  sympathy 
with  distress  and  sorrow.  Her  eyes  were  suffused  with 
tears  at  every  tale  of  woe,  and  the  care  with  which  she 
sought  to  sJiield  the  feelings  as  well  as  to  relieve  the  ne- 
cessities of  the  poor  and  suflPering,  was  worthy  of  all 
praise.     But  the  narrative  continues  : 

"  We  have  been  now  six  weeks  on  our  journey,  during 
four  of  which  the  weather  has  been  rainy  and  un- 
pleasant. I  find  it  occasionally  quite  difficult  to  guide 
my  horse  propeily.  The  new  roads  which  the  advance 
party  cut  for  us  are  quite  narrow,  so  that  it  is  some- 
times impossible  to  prevent  the  large  hushes  and  the 
boughs  of  small  trees  from  coming  in  contact  with  our 
faces.  When  it  rains  I  am  obliged  to  hold  my  bridle 
and  umbrella  with  one  hand,  while  with  the  other  I 
prevent  the  bushes  and  branches  from  scratching  out 
my  eyes.  Not  long  since  I  was  riding  rather  carelessly 
and  musing  the  while,  when  I  felt  a  sudden  jerk  and 
was  almost  thrown  from  my  horse.  Had  not  the  kind 
creature  stopped  instantly  I  know  not  but  I  should, 
(like  the  rebellious  son  of  David,)  have  been  left 
hamrino;  to  a  tree. 

52  BIOGRAPHY   OF   MRS.    LTDIA   R.    BACON. 

"  Blanchard^s  Creek,  Fort  Findley.  We  are  resting 
here  for  a  few  hours.  Block  houses  are  erected  every 
twenty  miles  to  keep  the  road  open  for  provisions  to 
pass  from  Ohio  to  Detroit.  As  we  have  no  vessels  to 
keep  open  our  communication  by  the  lake,  should  there 
be  a  war  with  England,  as  is  now  apprehended,  this 
land  route  will  be  of  vital  importance.  It  is  very 
tedious  traveling  through  roads  that  are  only 
opened  as  you  proceed.  Sometimes  the  horses  are  in 
danger  of  miring,  sometimes  there  is  a  probability  of 
breaking  their  legs  in  crossing  the  rude  bridges  which 
are  so  hastily  constructed  ;  and  often  in  fording  the 
rivers  the  current  is  so  strong  as  to  render  it  extremely 
difficult  to  gain  the  opposite  shore.  Many  have  a  fine 
bath  ere  they  reach  terra  firma.  But  as  yet  I  have 
been  exempt  from  such  a  disaster,  which  I  feel  would 
require  all  my  philosophy  to  bear  with  equanimity. 
Yet  it  frequently  takes  all  my  strength  and  prowess  to 
maintain  my  equilibrium,  as  the  streams  are  sometimes 
so  deep  that  I  am  obliged  to  put  my  feet  upon  the 
horse's  neck  to  keep  them  out  of  water. 

*'  This  moment  a  man  has  brouo-ht  us  a  beautiful  fish 
which  he  has  just  caught  in  the  creek  near  by.  This 
will  give  us  an  excellent  supper,  accompanied  by  the 
nice  warm  cakes  which  our  cook  was  about  to  prepare. 
We  could  have  a  dish  of  garlics  in  addition  if  we  chose, 
as  the  ground  where  we  are  encamped  is  full  of  them. 
My  tent  has  all  the  odors  of  a  French  cook-shop,  not 
quite  so  agreeable  as  the  strawberries  and  roses  which 
so  lately  regaled  us. 

"  June  2Gtli.     An  express  has  just  reached  us  from 

BIOGRAPHY   OF   MRS.    LYDIA   B.    BACON.  53 

Wasliington  to  hasten  the  troops  to  Detroit.  War  with 
England  is  soon  to  be  declared.  Oh,  with  what  different 
feelings  shall  we  keep  the  approaching  4th  of  July 
from  any  ever  experienced  by  us.  Our  eastern  friends 
will  not  suffer  in  this  war  like  those  upon  the  frontier, 
as  the  latter  will  be  exposed  to  the  merciless  tomahawk. 
This  evening  we  encamped  on  a  delightful  spot  of 
ground  upon  the  banks  of  the  Maumee  river  which 
empties  into  Lake  Erie,  about  a  mile  from  the  place 
where  General  Wayne  defeated  the  Indians  in  1794. 
We  have  had  dreadful  roads  to-day  and  several  of  our 
horses  gave  out  from  fatigue.  Two  of  them  dropped 
dead  upon  the  road,  and  in  consequence  one  of  our 
wagons  was  abandoned  and  left  in  the  mud. 

"  29/A.  To-day  we  have  passed  through  several 
beautiful  prairies  covered  with  fruit  and  wild  flowers. 
The  weather  has  been  delightful. 

"  June  oOtJi.  Wc  pass  the  Indian  boundary  to  the 
Michigan  Territory  to-dpty.  We  are  now  within  seventy 
miles  from  Detroit,  which  we  could  reach  in  two  days 
if  we  dared  to  leave  the  army.  The  troops  are  in  fine 

"  Juli/  1st,  1812.  Took  up  the  line  of  march  to-day, 
and  passed  through  a  small  village  called  Miami,  or 
Maumee.  This  is  situated  in  a  fine  prairie,  three  or 
four  miles  in  leno;th.  We  ladies  rode  on  ahead  to  the 
edge  of  the  woods  which  terminated  the  prairie,  and 
turning  our  horses,  had  a  fine  view  of  the  troops  as 
they  approached  us.     This  evening  we  have  pitched  our 


tents  at  the  foot  of  the  rapids.  In  crossing  the  river, 
the  water  got  into  the  mess  boxes  and  wet  our  sugar. 
I  must  here  record  an  incident  which  occurred  a  few 
evenings  since,  which  I  have  not  mentioned  in  its  place. 
As  I  was  sitting  at  the  door  of  our  tent,  enjoying  the 
beautiful  twilight  and  musing  upon  absent  friends,  I 
heard  the  report  of  a  gun  and  felt  the  wind  of  some- 
thing passing  close  to  my  ear.  Presently  an  ofRcer 
came  up  with  a  ramrod  in  his  hand,  which  he  said  had 
just  fallen  upon  his  tea-table,  where  he  was  taking 
supper  with  his  family  outside  of  his  tent.  This  was 
what  I  felt  as  it  whizzed  past  my  ear.  But  what 
an  escape !  Had  it  gone  one  inch  nearer,  it  would 
have  penetrated  my  head,  and  inevitable  death  would 
have  been  the  consequence.  This  happened  through 
the  carelessness  of  a  militia  man,  who  in  discharging 
his  gun,  forgot  to  elevate  it,  or  to  remove  the  ramrod. 
Thus  I  am  constantly  preserved  through  dangers  seen 
and  unseen,  and  have  a  renewed  call  to  adore  the  God 
of  Providence. 

"  Accompanied  by  my  liusband,  I  have  to-day  visited 
an  old  fort  that  formerly  belonged  to  the  British.  It 
was  erected,  I  believe,  by  Gov.  Sincoe,  the  first  Gover- 
nor of  Upper  Canada,  in  the  year  1794,  a  few  months 
previous  to  the  defeat  of  the  Indians,  by  General 
Wayne.  It  must  have  been  a  very  good  fort  for  that 
day,  I  sliould  jndge.     We  rode  into  it  on  horseback. 

"From  this  place  (near  the  rapids)  it  was  now 
thouglit  best  to  send  the  baggage,  together  with  the 
sick  and  feeble,  hj  ivaicr  to  Detroit,  while  the  army 
performed  the  remainder  of  the  journey  by  land.  A 
small  unarmed  vessel  had  been  sent  from  Detroit  for 

BIOGRAPnY  OF   MRS.    LYDIA   B.    BACON.  55 

this  purpose,  and  in  tins  Mrs.  G ,  Mrs.  F ,  and 

myself  embarked.  Being  much  fatigued  with  riding 
six  hundred  miles  on  horseback,  and  sleeping  fifty 
nights  upon  the  ground,  we  thought  the  change  would 
be  pleasant.  So  we  left  the  army  in  fine  spirits,  antici- 
pating the  pleasure  which  we  should  enjoy  in  resting, 
and  expecting  to  reach  Detroit  in  a  few  hours.  But 
when  within  eighteen  miles  of  Detroit,  and  opposite 
Maiden,  in  Canada,  (where  was  a  British  fort  and 
military  depot,)  we  saw  a  large  boat  coming  towards  us 
with  all  possible  speed.  "When  near  enough  to  hail  us, 
they  ordered  our  captain  to  lower  his  sails.  He,  not 
knowing  any  reason  for  such  a  proceeding  had  half  a 
mind  to  continue  on  his  course,  but  a  second  and  wiser 
thought  altered  his  intentions.  The  fact  was  we  were 
now  so  near  the  guns  of  the  fort  that  they  could  have 
blown  us  out  of  water.  And  as  if  to  hasten  the  cap- 
tain in  his  submission  to  circumstances,  two  guns  were 
fired  at  us  from  the  boat.  As  the  shot  whistled  about 
our  ears,  it  caused  any  thing  but  an  agreeable  sensa- 
tion. Excepting  the  ramrod,  I  had  never  come  so 
nearly  in  contact  with  murderous  weapons  before.  But 
now  our  sails  were  of  course  lowered,  and  the  English 
captain  with  his  men  came  on  board  and  took  possess- 
ion of  our  vessel  as  a  prize.  Lieut.  Gooding  inquired 
the  meaning  of  such  conduct,  and  was  told  that  war  was 
declared  between  England  and  America,  and  that  the 
Americans  had  already  taken  two  British  vessels  upon 
the  seas. 

"We  could  hardly  credit  the  statement,  but  it  was 
indeed  true.  General  Hull  had  received  the  intelli- 
gence just  after  we  started,  and  had  sent  a  messenger 

56  BIOGRAPnY   OF   MRS.   LYDIA   B.    BACOX. 

to  stop  US,  but  it  was  too  late.  Wc  were  then  "beyond 
Lis  reach.  The  British  were  delighted  with  their  prize, 
as  our  vessel  contained  nearly  all  the  hospital  stores, 

as  well  as  the  ojficer's  baggage.     Mrs.  G and  Mrs. 

r flew  into  the  cabin  as  soon  as  the  first  shot  was 

heard,  but  a  love  of  ncvelfi/,  sjnced  with  curiosity  over- 
came my  fears,  and  I  remained  on  deck  to  see  what  was 
next  to  come.  Our  captor  was  an  English  captain,  by 
the  name  of  Rulet,  and  a  very  gentlemanly  young 
man.  Ho  took  the  helm,  and  our  vessel  was  in  a  very 
short  time  anchored  at  Maiden,  and  we  prisoners  to 
his  majesty,  George  III.  This  was  an  honor  I  had 
little  anticipated,  and  one  moreover,  that  I  could  very 
willingly  have  dispensed  with.  However,  there  was 
nothing  but  to  make  the  best  of  it.  The  English  quar- 
ter-master soon  came  on  board.  Lieutenant  Gooding 
introduced  the  ladies  to  him,  observing  that  we  were  all 
officers'  wives.  He  assured  us  that  we  should  be  treated 
as  such,  and  invited  us  to  his  own  quarters  until  we 
could  procure  accommodations  at  the  public  house.  So 
Lieut.  G and  his  wife,  with  Mrs.  E and  my- 
self, went  home  with  the  quarter-master.  We  were  in- 
troduced to  his  wife,  whom  we  thought  a  very  pleasant 
lady,  and  were  handsomely  treated  to  cake  and  refresh- 
ments, so  that  for  a  few  moments  we  almost  forgot  our 
real  situation. 

"  A  number  of  Indians  were  at  Maiden,  several  of 
wliom  were  engaged  in  the  battle  of  Tippecanoe. 
Hearing  that  it  was  some  of  the  4th  regiment  vrho  were 
taken  prisoners,  they  followed  us  through  the  streets  to 
the  public  house,  scowling  upon  us  with  faces  truly 
terrific.     After   dinner   several    British   officers  called 

BIOGRAPHY   OF   MRS.    LYDIA   B.    BACON.  57 

upon  US.  Finding  them  disposed  to  bj  civil  and 
friendly,  I  took  courage  to  request  tliem   to  alloio  Mrs. 

F and  myself  to  proceed  next  day  to  Detroit.     They 

very  courteously  granted  my  request,  pleasantly  add- 
ing, '  "We  do  not  make  war  upon  the  ladies.'  Lieut. 
Gooding  could  not  he  paroled,  and  of  course  his  wife 
chose  to  stay  with  him.  That  night  we  slept  on  hoard 
a  prison-sJdp,  hut  as  we  were  the  first  prisoners  who 
had  been  placed  there,  it  was  clean  and  comparatively 
comfortable.  We  slept  very  well,  considering  the  nov- 
elty of  our  position.  I  awoke  early  in  the  morning, 
having  a  strong  desire  to  set  my  feet  on  republican 
groimd  ere  our  national  anniversary  arrived.  Tomor- 
row would  be  the  4:th  of  July  !  Agreeable  to  his 
promise,  the  quarter-master  procured  us  a  pass  from 
the  commanding  officer,  and   provided  a  carriage  and 

driver  to  take  Mrs.  F and  myself  to  Detroit.     A 

cart  was  also  engaged  to  carry  our  baggage.  At  my 
earnest  request,  he  also  consented  that  two  young  boys 
(sons  of  militia  officers)  and  a  soldier's  wife,  with  her 
young  infant  should  accompany  us.     So  we   departed, 

Mrs.  F and  myself  in  an  open  chaise,  with  a  New 

England  man  to  drive,  while  in  the  rear  was  the  cart, 
guided  by  a  Canadian,  with  the  woman,  children,  and 
baggage.  Of  the  latter,  most  fortunately,  I  was  per- 
mitted to  make  my  own  selection,  so  (of  course)  I 
secured  my  husband's  as  well  as  my  own.  On  his 
account  I  considered  myself  lucky  to  have  been  of  the 
party.  The  weather  was  fine,  and  we  rode  along  quite 
happy  in  the  prospect  of  soon  seeing  our  husbands. 
Our  road  lay. upon  the  bank  of  the  river  Detroit.  This 
river  is  wide  and  deep  enough  for  vessels  of  any  di- 

58  LIOaHAPIIY   OF   MRS.    LYDIA   B.    BACON. 

mcnsions  to  sail  upon.  The  man  who  drove  us  lived 
about  lialf  way  between  Maiden  and  Detroit.  He 
stopped  at  his  own  house  to  rest  the  horses  a  short  time, 
wliile  I  improved  the  opportunity,  with  his  permission,  to 
reconnoitre  the  garden.  I  found  some  nice  fruit  which 
was  quite  refreshing.  After  which  we  resumed  our 
seats  in  the  chaise,  and  soon  arrived  at  the  ferry  oppo- 
site Detroit,  having  rode  eighteen  miles.  Here  a  boat 
was  procured  for  us  by  the  gentleman  to  whom  we 
presented  our  passport,  and  he  kindly  volunteered  his 
services  to  wait  on  us  across  the  river.  These  we 
thankfully  accepted,  and  in  a  short  time  were  seated  in 
the  boat  on  our  way  to  Detroit.  The  gentleman  took 
the  helm  in  one  hand  and  his  cane  with  my  pocket- 
handkerchief  tied  to  it  in  the  other,  as  a  flag  of  truce. 
Of  course  this  was  the  only  way  that  peaceable  people 
could  approach  an  enemy's  shore  in  such  troublous 
times.  Our  boat  was  a  long  canoe,  made  out  of  the 
trunk  of  a  tree,  and  having  lain  out  of  water  and 
exposed  to  the  sun,  it  had  begun  to  crack.  Of  course 
it  leaked  so  badly  in  consequence  that  we  could  not 
keep  our  feet  dry,  and  were  actively  engaged  all  the 
way  across  in  bailing  out  the  water.  As  we  approached 
our  American  shore,  we  saw  a  number  of  men  on  horse- 
back riding  rapidly  down,  quite  to  the  edge  of  the 
water.  AYhen  we  came  near  enough  to  hear  them,  they 
ordered  us  not  to  advance  any  nearer,  and  enforced 
their  order  by  pointing  large  pistols  directly  at  us. 
This  M-as  a  cold  welcome  to  returning  prisoners.  But 
all  communication  between  Detroit  and  Canada  had 
been  prohibited  on  account  of  the  declaration  of  war, 
and   even   flags   of  truce   were    not    allowed.     But   I 

BIOGRAPHY   or   MRS.    LYDIA    B.    BACON.  59 

tliouglit  that  a  canoe  full  of  ivomcn  and  cldldren, 
cari'}  iiig  a  white  flag  was  a  small  tiling  to  disturb  the 
valor  oi:*  my  countrymen.  On  the  wharf,  a  guard  of 
regulars,  with  thtir  commanding  officer.  Availed  to 
receive  us.  The  latter  now  hailed  us  and  inquired  v,  ho 
we  were.  I  replied  (with  some  spirit)  '  that  we  were 
officers'  wives  of  the  4th  regiment,'  and  we  were  imme- 
diately permitted  to  land.  The  gentleman  who  had 
escorted  us  in  the  boat  vrith  such  disinterested  polite- 
ness I  had  promised  should  return  without  detention  or 
molestation.  This  I  communiv-atcd  to  our  commandino: 
officer  and  added  my  hope  that  it  might  be  fulfdled 
without  delay.  He  assured  me  that  it  should,  and  I 
soon  had  the  satisfaction  of  knowing  that  no  harm  had 
come  to  the  gentleman  for  liis  kindness  to  us  females 
and  strangers.  Captain  H.,  (the  commanding  officer 
just  alluded  to,)  then  waited  upon  us  to  General  H's 
quarters,  where  we  were  most  cordially  received  by  his 
daughter-in-law,  the  wife  of  Captain  H.  who  was  keep- 
ing house  for  her  father.  The  rest  of  the  family,  ex- 
cepting this  only  son,  were  in  Kew  England.  Witli 
this  lady  I  tarried  while  in  Detroit,  and  received  all  the 
attention  and  kindness  which  a  refined  mind  and.  gen- 
erous heart  could  bestow.  She  had  two  dear  little  girls, 
and  the  care  which  they  required,  together  with  their 
pretty  and  endearing  ways  helped  to  relieve  mucli  of 
the  tediousness  of  our  unpleasant  situation.  For  from 
this  time  the  continual  din  of  war  caused  us  sleepless 
nights  and  anxious  days.  Xo  Sabbath  and  no  sanctu- 
ary privileges  blest  us  v\ith  their  return.  All  days 
were  alike  employed  in  preparation  for  brother  to  shed 
his  brother's  blood.     A  war  with  Enadand  seems  most 


unnatural — 'tis  like  a  family  taking  up  arms  against 
its  own.  But  if  we  arc  forced  to  do  it  our  cause  is  just. 
And  I  trust  that  the  same  kind  Providence  who  fought 
for  us  in  the  llevolution  will  still  succor  and  protect 
this  highly  favored  people.  I  know  that  our  friends 
at  the  east  will  be  very  anxious  on  our  behalf. 

''July  Itli.  The  army  has  just  arrived  in  good 
health  and  spirits.  I  had  a  delightful  ride  with  my 
liusband  on  the  bank  of  the  river  above  Detroit.  This 
is  a  beautiful  part  of  the  country.  There  are  good 
gardens  in  the  village,  and  fine  farms  in  the  vicinity. 

'^  July  V2tli.  Geuoral  H.  crossed  with  his  troops  to 
Sandwich,  opposite  Detroit,  and  took  peaceable  possess- 
ion. The  inhabitants  either  quitted  the  place  or 
stopped  under  American  jurisdiction. 

"  August  TtJi.  Some  parties  of  our  troops  have  had 
several  skirmishes  with  the  British  and  Indians.  An 
English  officer,  but  dressed  and  painted  like  the  Indians, 
led  them  on  to  battle.  I  am  surprised  that  a  ivhite 
man  of  any  refinement  could  do  such  a  thing.  After 
one  of  the  fights,  the  English  suffered  the  Indians  to 
take  the  scalp  of  a  Yankee  soldier,  and  carry  it  twelve 
miles   for   the   purpose   of  showing   it   to   Lieutenant 

G .     He  was  still  where  we  left  him  with  his  wife 

confined  on  board  the  prison-ship  at  Maiden.  This 
exhibition  of  Indian  cruelty  was  made  to  him  in  the 
most  insulting  manner.  This  license  so  stimulated  the 
Indians,  that  it  was  found  necessary  to  move  the  prison- 
ship  out  some  distance  in  the  stream  to  prevent  them 


from  firing  into  lier.  They  did  fire  once,  "but  happily 
injured  no  one.  Poor  Mrs.  G must  he  very  un- 
pleasantly situated — so  closely  confined,  no  female  com- 
panion to  speak  to,  and  in  constant  terror.  A  detach- 
ment of  troops  have  gone  to  Brownstown  and  my  hus- 
band among  them.  We  have  heard  that  an  engage- 
ment has  commenced  between  them  and  the  Enjxlish. 
The  thought  is  almost  too  much  to  hear  that  my  be- 
loved husband  may  be  already  among  the  slain. 

*'  Qtli.  We  have  just  heard  that  our  troops  have 
been  victorious,  and  that  no  oflftcer  was  killed,  and  only 
one  wounded.  Colonel  Miller  commanded.  My  dear 
Josiah  has  returned  in  safety. 

'^August  12th.  Our  troops  have  vacated  Sandvnch, 
and  returned  to  Detroit.  Since  then  the  enemy  have 
been  very  busy  building,  as  we  suppose,  a  battery  upon 
the  opposite  shore.  The  ends  project  beyond  a  large 
dwelling  which  conceals  them  while  they  work.  At 
night  we  can  hear  them  throw  their  cannon-balls,  from 
a  boat  on  to  the  lane 

^^  August  lotli.  One  of  our  physicians.  Dr.  Foster,  is 
very  dangerously  sick.  He  is  a  particular  friend  of 
ours,  a  young  man  of  unblemished  morals,  and  possess- 
ing a  superior  mind,  highly  cultivated.  I  have  just 
received  a  message  from  him  requesting  an  interview 
with  all  possible  dispatch.  I  hastened  to  his  room  and 
found  him  apparently  near  his  end.  '  Mrs.  Bacon,' 
said  he,  '  I  have  sent  for  you  to  converse  with  me  about 
dying.  My  male  friends  are  not  willing  to  talk  with 


me  on  tins  subject.  But  I  believe  you  to  be  a  rational 
woman,  and  trust  you  Avill  not  object  to  hear  me.'  I 
assured  bim  tbat  it  would  give  me  great  pleasure,  if  I 
could  do  any  thing  to  comfort  him.  He  then  told  me 
of  his  conviction  that  death  was  near  at  hand.  His 
disease,  he  said,  was  hereditary ;  his  mother  and  several 
members  of  their  family  had  been  taken  away  with  it. 
He  thought  he  should  die  ere  tomorrow's  sun  should 
sink  in  the  west,  as  there  was  an  abscess  nearly  formed, 
which,  in  breaking,  must  inevitably  terminate  his  life. 
He  expressed  his  thankfulness  that  his  precious  mother, 
whom  he  had  greatly  loved,  had  preceded  him,  and  was 
not  left  to  mourn  his  departure.  I  was  astonished  at 
his  calmness,  for  I  knew  that  he  was  not  a  follower  of 
the  meek  and  lowly  Jesus.  But  I  soon  found  that  he 
w^as  perfectly  confident  of  his  acceptance  with  God  upon 
the  score  of  his  oivn  merits.  He  acknowledged  no 
Saviour,  and  felt  that  he  needed  none — his  own  righte- 
ousness was  all-sufficient.  I  knew,  I  felt  that  he  was 
altogether  wrong,  that  he  was  building  on  the  sand, 
but  I  knew  not  what  to  do  or  say.  I  was  so  struck 
with  surprise  at  finding  him  so  near  his  end,  and  so 
filled  with  horror  at  the  thought  of  his  unpreparedness 
that  I  was  overwhelmed,  and  almost  lost  the  power  of 
utterance.  I  felt,  too,  my  own  utter  incompetency  to 
direct  him  aright,  and  I  left  him  without  one  endeavor 
to  convince  him  of  his  error.  I  fear  I  was  greatly 
culpable.  My  feelings  on  leaving  him  were  indescriba- 
bly painful,  inasmuch  as  after  his  explanation  of  the 
character  and  progress  of  his  disease  I  could  not  indulge 
the  hope  that  he  would  survive  many  hours.  His 
impressions  and  my  forebodings  were  too  true,  for  alas, 


he  died  tlie  next  day  at  noon.  He  was  interred  among 
strangers,  witli  military  honors,  much  heloved  and 
respected  by  surviving  friends.'^ 

Often  in  after  years,  did  Mrs.  Bacon  recur  to  this 
scene,  and  never  without  feelings  of  grief  and  contri- 
tion. When  relating  it  in  the  hearing  of  the  writer, 
during  the  last  year  of  her  own  life,  she  said,  *'  I  almost 
feel  as  if  the  blood  of  that  man's  soul  will  be  found  in 
my  skirts.  I  knew  that  he  was  building  upon  a  sandy 
foundation,  and  I  ought  to  have  warned  him  of  his 
danger,  and  exhorted  him  to  flee  to  the  only  refuge. 
But  the  very  imminency  of  his  peril  stupefied  me,  and 
a  bitter  conviction  of  my  own  inconsistency  in  neglect- 
in  2:  that  Saviour  whom  I  now  saw  so  essential  to  the 
salvation  of  a  dying  sinner,  tied  my  tongue.  I  left 
him,  feeling  that  his  harvest  was  past,  his  summer 
ended,  and  he  not  saved.  But  I  do  not  think  I  ever 
fors-ot  the  lesson  which  I  there  learned.  It  followed 
me  through  many  an  after  scene,  often  whispering  in 
my  ear,  '  Sinner,  come  !^  And  I  do  not  think  the 
impression  of  that  unblest  death  ever  wholly  left  me 
until  I  was  brought  to  .make  that  Saviour  mine,  who 
alone  can  safely  guide  through  '  the  dark  valley.' 
Now  I  never  see  the  sick  and  dying  without  making 
earnest  efforts  to  lead  them  (if  they  are  not  Christians) 
to  place  their  feet  upon  the  rock — Christ  Jesus.  But 
oh,  that  haunting  thought,  I  cannot  undo  the  past.  I 
can  only  pray.  Lord,  forgive."  All  this  was  said  with 
the  deepest  emotion,  her  eyes  overflowing  with  tears  of 
regret  and  sorrow.  But  we  will  resume  the  journal  of 
Mrs.  B.  whose  next  date  is  that  of  "  Auo-ust  14th." 


"  While  a  prisoner  among  the  English,  at  Maiden,  I 
was  much  mortified  to  hear  one  of  their  officers  say, 
'  The  New  England  States  will  not  take  up  arms 
against  his  majesty.  For  you  have  federal  governors, 
and  nothing  would  delight  them  more  than  disunion.' 
He  had  imbibed  this  idea  by  reading  so  many  strong 
party  pieces  in  our  eastern  newspapers.  Though  I  felt 
that  his  conclusions  were  wrong,  yet  I  was  both  sorry 
and  ashamed  that  the  rancor  of  political  and  party 
differences  should  give  any  color  to  such  an  assertion. 
I  know,  however,  that  those  vile  productions  are  not  the 
sentiments  of  the  majority  of  the  people.  Disunion 
cannot  be  seriously  entertained  by  those  who  worked 
first  and  longest  to  achieve  our  independence. :  Oh,  may 
the  bright  flame  of  patriotism,  which  glowed  in  the 
breasts  of  our  Washington  and  his  compatriot's  fire  the 
hearts  of  their  descendants.  And  whilQ  one  drop  of 
blood  runs  in  the  veins  of  Americans,  may  they.remem- 
ber  the  dying  injunction  of  the  father  of  his  country, 
that  they  should  '  unitedli/  maintain  that  independence 
which  (under  heaven)  their  fathers  so  gloridudy  oh" 

"  August  15th.  A  summons  has  been  sent  to-day, 
from  General  Brock  (the  British  commander  in  Canada,) 
to  General  Hull,  demanding  the  surrender  of  Detroit 
and  the  army  to  the  English !  This  our  general  has 
not  seen  fit  to  comply  with.  Every  preparation  is  now 
making  for  a  bombardment.  The  British  soldiers  are 
very  busy  in  pulling  down  the  large  house  which  con- 
ceals the  battery  which  they  have  been  so  industriously 
constructing.     If  I  were  not  'so  terrified  at  the  idea  of 

BIOGRAPHY   OF   MRS.    LYDIA   B.    BACOX.  65 

a  siege,  I  could  laugli  to  sec  tlicir  Imrrj.  Never  did  a 
building  come  down  faster  in  a  raging  fire  than  in  the 
hands  of  these  bloodthirsty  fellows.  The  women  and 
children  are  to  go  into  the  fort  as  the  only  placa  of  secu- 
rity against  the  savage  Indians,  and  the  bombs,  shells, 
and  shot  of  the  English.  The  officers  who  came  with 
the  summons  have  left  us  to  return,  and  as  soon  as 
they  arrive  upon  the  opposite  shore,  the  firing  will 
commence.  So  I  must  lay  aside  my  pen  and  escape  to 
the  place  of  safety,  not  know^ing  wdiat  shall  befall  me. 

''August  Idth,  1812.  Amid  the  horrors  of  war  I 
have  not  been  able  to  compose  myself  sufficiently  to 
write.  But  now  that  the  carnao:e  has  ceased  for  the 
present,  and  as  prisoners  we  are  quietly  seated  in  his 
Britannic  Majesty's  ship,  the  Queen  Charlotte,  I  will 
endeavor,  my  dear  mother,  to  give  you  some  account  of 
the  very  thrilling  scenes  through  which  we  have  lately 
passed.  While  the  bearers  of  General  Brock's  sum- 
mons to  surrender  were  returning  with  General  Hull's 

refusal  to  their  demand,  I  took  Mrs.  H 's  eldest  girl 

by  the  hand  and  fled  to  the  fort.  This  was  some 
distance  from  our  house,  but  I  assure  you  I  did  not 
loiter  by  the  way.  When  I  arrived,  I  found  most  had 
preceded  me.  It  was  not  long  ere  the  cannonade 
commenced  on  both  sides.  The  firing  was  continued  till 
midnight  without  intermission.  As  nothing  had  then 
been  eftected  it  was  discontinued,  and  we  were  glad  to 
breathe  and  take  some  refreshment.  As  many  of  the 
females  and  children  had  not  been  able  to  eat  during 
the  day,  I  concluded  to  make  some  tea.  So  we  partook 
of  our  supper, — or  breakfast  I  might  as  well  have 


called  it,  it  being  past  one  o'clock  A.  M. — and  tlien  we 

endeavored  to  get  some  sleep,     Capt.  S ,  an  officer 

in  the  company,  had  two  days  previously  to  the 

commencement  of  hostilities  married  a  sweet  little  girl 
of  fourteen  years  !  She  was  with  us,  having  under  her 
care  a  little  nephew,  a  child  five  years  old.  The  two 
hand  in  hand,  like  the  *  Babes  in  the  Wood,'  cried  them- 
selves to  sleep.  But  in  vain  I  tried  to  court  the  drowsy 
god  ;  anxiety  for  the  future  drove  sleep  effectually  from 
my  eyes.  Many  others  found  slumber  as  difficult  to  be 
obtained  as  myself.  It  was  a  night  never  to  be  for- 

"Soon  as  the  morning  of  the  16th  arose  the  cannon 
commenced  to  roar  with  apparently  tenfold  fury ;  and 
alas  !  it  did  not  continue  long  without  doing  execution. 
The  enemy's  bombs  and  shot  began  to  enter  the  fort. 
Some  of  the  ladies  were  employed  in  making  cylinders, 
viz :  bags  to  hold  powder  for  the  cannon.  Othei^  were 
scraping  lint,  that  it  might  be  ready  in  case  of  necessity, 
to  dress  the  wounds  of  the  injured  soldiers.  While 
thus  engaged,  a  twenty-four  pound  shot  entered  the 
room  next  to  wliere  we  were  sitting.  Two  officers  who 
were  standing  in  the  room  were  cut  entirely  in  two, 
their  bowels  gushing  out  as  they  fell.  The  same  ball, 
after  doing  such  horrid  execution,  passed  through  the 
wall  into  another  room  where  a  number  of  persons  were 
standing.  Here  it  took  off  both  the  legs  of  one  man, 
and  sliced  the  flesh  off  the  thigh  of  another.  The  man 
who  lost  both  his  legs  died  very  soon.  Thus  one  of  these 
angry  messengers  killed  three  men  and  wounded  a 
fourth  in  a  moment  of  time. 

'*  One  of  the  gentlemen  who  was  killed,  was  a  captain 


of  the  regulars,  who  had  heen  previously  taken  prisoner 
and  released  upon  parole.  He  was  now  in  the  fort  /or 
safety,  not  being  allowed  to  take  up  arms  until  he  was 
exchanged.  But  death  met  him  where  he  least  expected 
it.  Soon  after  this  another  hall  of  equal  size  entered 
the  hospital  room.  A  poor  fellow  who  lay  sick  upon 
his  hed,  and  was  asleep,  had  his  head  instantly  severed 
from  his  body ;  and  his  attendant  was  killed  by  the 
same  blow,  the  shot  striking  him  in  his  breast.  The 
enemy  had  got  the  range  of  the  fort  so  completely  that 
it  was  now  judged  unsafe  for  the  women  and  children 
to  remain  any  longer  in  it.  So  we  were  all  hurried  to 
the  root-house,  which  was  on  the  opposite  side  of  the 
fort,  and  was  bomb  proof.  Never  shall  I  forget  my 
sensations  as  I  crossed  the  parade  ground  to  gain  this 
place  of  safety.  You  must  recollect,  dear  mother,  that 
my  feelings  had  been  under  constant  excitement  for 
many  weeks,  and  now  were  wrought  up  to  the  highest 
pitch.  Complain  I  ivould  not,  weep  I  could  not ;  but  it 
seemed  as  if  my  heart  would  burst.  My  hair  stood 
erect  upon  my  head,  (which  in  the  hurry  of  escape  was 
uncovered,)  as  I  raised  my  eyes  and  caught  a  glimpse 
of  the  bombs,  shells  and  balls  which  were  flying  in  all 
directions.  The  boy  warrior,  whose  father  was  killed  at 
Tippecanoe,  was  running  about  upon  the  parapet  exposed 
to  the  fire  of  the  enemy,  and  seemed  as  fearless  as  if  in 
sportive  play.  On  going  into  the  root-house  I  found  it 
nearly  full  of  women  and  children.  What  a  scene  was 
here  presented  !  One  lady  was  so  sick  that  she  had  to 
be  carried  there  on  a  bed.  The  wife  of  one  of  the  officers 
who  was  shot  by  that  first  ball  which  entered  the  fort 
was,  (as  you  may  suppose,)  in  an  agony  of  grief.     '  Oh, 


^Yllat  haYG  I  done  to  deserve  so  severe  a  trial?  what  had 
my  poor  husband  done  that  he  must  die  V  were  her  con- 
stant lamentations.  Oh,  thought  I,  tvliat  have  any  of  us 
done  to  deserve  any  thing  else  ?  In  the  midst  of  all  this 
sorrow  and  weeping,  our  child,  too  young  to  realize  its 
danger,  was  screaming  at  the  top  of  its  voice  because 
its  attendant  would  not  walk  with  it  on  the  parapet !  A 
thing  which  had  been  often  done  for  its  amusement 
when  it  had  been  uneasy  and  fretful,  and  which  it  could 
not  be  made  to  understand  was  unsafe  and  impracticable 
now.  Such  a  day  of  lamentation  and  weeping  I  never 
witnessed  before,  and  pray  I  may  never  again  be  called 
to  see.  Only  three  or  four  of  the  whole  number  present 
maintained  the  appearance  of  composure,  and  they  felt 
more  than  can  be  described.  On  looking  from  the  door 
of  the  root-house  to  the  quarters  opposite  I  saw  a  ball 
knock  down  one  of  the  chimneys,  and  was  afterwards 
told  that  the  same  shot  killed  a  man  who  was  on  duty 
upon  the  parapet  the  other  side  of  the  building.  About 
this  time  the  enemy  effected  a  landing  on  our  side, 
under  cover  of  their  armed  vessels.  Of  these  they  had 
a  sufficiency  to  demolish  Detroit  if  they  chose,  while  we 
had  not  a  boat  in  order  to  carry  a  single  gun.  General 
Brock's  efiective  force  was  also  double  ours,  and  the 
Indians  were  now  let  loose  on  the  inhabitants.  In  ad- 
dition to  this  our  supply  of  provisions  and  ammunition 

was  extremely  small,  and  a  part  of  General  H 's 

most  efficient  troops  were  at  this  juncture  at  some  dis- 
tance from  Detroit,  having  been  sent  away  on  duty  a 
short  time  previous  to  the  summons  to  surrender. 
Under  these  circumstances  General  H.,  after  consulta- 
tion with  Colonel  Miller,  thought  it  best  to  capitulate, 


and  obtained  tlic  best  terms  be  conld.  A  wbite  flag 
was  accordingly  displayed  upon  tbe  parapet  as  a  signal 
for  tbe  cessation  of  bostilities.  Immediately  tbe  cannon 
ceased  to  roar,  and  all  was  still.  General  Brock  tben 
sent  to  ascertain  for  wbat  purpose  tbe  wbite  flag  was 
displayed,  and  learned  tbe  determination  of  General  H. 
to  surrender.  Our  soldiers  were  tben  marcbed  on  to 
tlie  parade  ground  in  tbe  fort,  wbere  tbey  stacked  tbeir 
arms,  wbicb  wore  tben  delivered  to  tbe  enemy.  Tbe 
American  stars  and  stripes  were  tben  lowered  from  tbe 
flag-staff^  and  replaced  witb  Englisb  colors.  A  royal 
salute  was  now  fired  witb  tbe  very  cannon  wbicb  tbe 
Americans  bad  taken  from  tbe  Britisb  in  tbe  Eevolu- 
tionary  war,  and  tbeir  music  played  tbeir  national  tune, 
'God  save  tbe  King.'  How  sball  I  tellyou  our  grief 
and  mortification  at  tbis  triumpb  of.  our  foes.  A 
tbousand  emotions  struggled  in  my  breast j  too  nmnerous 
for  utterance,  too  exquisitely  painful  to  be  described  ! 
;  "  Tbe  poor  fellows"  wbo  were  sbot  in  tbis  contest  were 
all  buried  in  one  oTave.  After  tbe  surrender  tbose  wbo 
bad  fled  to  tbe  fort  for  safety  returned  to  tbeir  respective 
abodes.  Tbe  little  girl  of  wbom  I  bad  cbarge  at  tbe 
commencement  of  tbe  siege  was  witb  me  until  tbe 
close.  Wben  sbe  saw  tbe  fine  uniform  of  tbe  British 
officers,  after  tbey  bad  taken  possession,  sbe  expressed 
great  deligbt  and  admiration,  pointing  at  tbem  and  ex- 
claiming in  broken  language,  (for  sbe  was  too  young  to 
speak  plainly,)  '  Pretty,  pretty  !'  Poor  cbild  !  sbe  little 
realized  wbat  sorrow  tbe  transactions  of  tbat  day  caused 
to  ber  family,  ber  friends  and  ber  country. 

^^  August  idth.     Tbe  prisoners  were  put  on  board  bis 


Majesty's  vessels  to-day.  They  are  to  be  sent  to 
Niagara  and  from  tliencc  to  Montreal,  on  tlieir  way  to 
Qnebec.  Tims  a  second  time  in  the  short  space  of  six 
weeks  am  I  a  prisoner.  I  fear  I  shall  not  be  so  easily 
released  this  time,  as  my  husband  is  with  me ;  and  a  man 
is  of  more  consequence  to  the  enemy  as  a  prisoner  than 
a  woman.  Whether  my  husband  obtains  a  parole  or 
not,  one  thing  is  certain :  I  shall  not  leave  him  unless  I 
am  compelled  to.  We  were  put  on  board  the  Queen 
Charlotte,  a  fine  armed  vessel  of  three  hundred  tons. 
In  the  same  ship  were  General  Hull  and  son,  a  number 
of  Fourth  Ecgiment  men,  both  oflficers  and  soldiers, 
together  with  several  public  civil  officers  from  Detroit. 

There  were  only  three  ladies,  Mrs.  Fuller,  Mrs.  S , 

the  young  bride  of  fourteen,  and  myself.  Mrs.  F.  and 
Mrs.  S.  staid  on  board  our  vessel,  however,  but  one 
night,  we  being  so  crowded,  they  were  transferred  the 
next  day  to  another.  Thus  I  was  left  without  a  female 
to  speak  to.  But  we  were  a  merry  set  of  prisoners  that 
first  night.  Our  friends  would  have  laughed  heartily 
had  they  seen  us  vrhen  we  laid  ourselves  dovrn  to  rest. 
There  was  but  one  state-jvom  in  the  cabin  where  the 

prisoners   were   confined,   and   Mrs.  F had  taken 

possession    of    that    before    Mrs.    S and    myself 

arrived.     Captain  S v/as  very  much  offended  that 

a  state-room  had  not  been  provided  for  Ms  beautiful 
bride,  to  whom  he  had  been  married  hardly  a  week. 
And  I  must  confess  that  I  myself  had  been  led  to  ex- 
pect more  from  British  officers,  (whose  politeness  to 
ladies  is  proverbial,)  than  that  they  should  monopolize  all 
the  state-rooms  to  their  own  use !  But  as  vre  had  been 
accustomed  for  many  months  to  make  the  best  of  every 

BIOGRAPnY   OF   MRS.    LYDIA   B.    BACON.  /  1 

tiling  wc  tliouglit  it  good  policy  to  do  so  now.  So  we 
proceeded  to  arrange  our  beds  as  well  as  we  could,  con- 
sulting  comfort  and   propriety  as  mucli  as  our  very 

peculiar  circumstances  would  permit.     Capt.  S put 

his  bed  next  tbe  state-room  where  Capt.  F and  his 

wife  were  sleeping,  and  himself  occupied  the  side  next 
the  door  ;  we  put  our  bed  next  to  his,  myself  lying  next 

to  Mrs.  S ,  and  my  husband  the  other  side  of  me. 

Thus  we  ladies  were  as  well  protected  as  possible.  The 
rest  of  the  gentlemen  occupied  the  remainder  of  the 
floor.  Although  nothing  but  variety  had  been  our  lot 
for  many  a  month,  yet  I  must  confess  that  the  unprece- 
dented novelty  of  our  present  situation  drove  sleep  most 
effectually  from  my  eyes,  notwithstanding  every  thing 
was  quiet  on  board  the  ship  but  ourselves.     The  next 

day  Mrs.  F and  Mrs.  S were  placed  in  another 

ship  not  so  crowded  as  ours,  and  I  succeeded  to  the  ac- 
commodations which  the  former  had  vacated.  But  this, 
though  very  convenient,  was  hardly  a  recompense  for 
the  loss  of  their  society.  I  felt  this  loss  the  more,  as 
we  were  now  wind  bound  for  several  days.  And  to  add 
to  the  tediousness  of  our  situation,  our  fare  was  any 
thing  but  good.  One  day  at  table  a  gentleman  near 
me  remarked  that  if  I  could  eat  such  bread  as  this, 
(pointing  to  a  biscuit  which  he  held  in  his  hand,)  I  was 
a  better  soldier  than  himself.  As  he  broke  the  bread 
the  hairs  and  sticks  showed  that  the  flour,  at  least,  had 
not  been  sifted.  The  next  day  I  obtained  leave  to  make 
a  huge  apple  pudding,  which  we  all  enjoyed  very  much 
indeed.  I  met  with  quite  a  loss  in  going  on  board  the 
ship,  which  detracted  very  much  from  my  enjoyment 
and  was  quite  a  trial  to  my  patience  and  submission. 


I  had  made  up  a  small  bundle  to  take  in  my  liand, 
containing  some  work,  with  all  my  sewing  apparatus,  a 
very  liandsome  pearl  breast-pin,  (the  gift   of  brother 

John  B ,)  and  some  money.     As  I  was  ascending 

the  side  of  the  vessel  from  the  boat  which  conveyed  us 
to  it,  I  put  my  bundle  into  the  hand  of  one  of  the 
boatmen  who  was  assisting  me,  and  never  saw  man  or 
bundle  again.  This  was  a  serious  evil,  as  every  cent 
which  we  had  with  us  was  in  it.  A  young  British 
officer  learning  my  misfortune  went  on  shore,  purchased 
needles,  pins,  scissors,  thimble  and  thread,  and  presented 
them  to  me.  So  my  loss  was  partially  made  up  through 
the  politeness  of  the  enemy.  We  were  fourteen  days  out 
before  we  reached  Buffalo.  Eleven  of  these  were  spent 
in  waiting  for  a  fair  wind,  and  we  were  only  three  days 
actually  sailing  across  the  lake.  We  landed  at  Fort 
Erie,  nearly  opposite  Buffalo,  on  the  Canada  side. 
Here  the  British  commanding  officer  gave  General  Hull 
liberty  to  fill  the  carriage  which  had  been  provided  for 
him  and  his  aid,  (and  which  was  the  only  one  which 
could  be  procured  in  the  place,)  as  he  pleased.  My 
husband  had  been  acquainted  with  the  General  and  I 
had  boarded  in  his  family,  which  I  suppose  was  the 
reason  why  he  offered  ws  the  vacant  seats  in  preference 
to  others.  Officers  of  the  line  were  obliged  to  be  with 
their  men  ;  but  as  my  husband's  duties  ceased  when  the 
soldiers  became  prisoners,  he  could  avail  himself  of  the 
comfortable  conveyance  which  General  Hull's  politeness 
placed  within  our  reach.  I  afterwards  learned  that  the 
wives  of  other  officers  had  a  very  uncomfortable  time 
getting  to  Newark,  which  was  thirty-six  miles  below 
Erie,  having  neither  protectors  or  proper  carriages  in 

BIOGRAPHY   OF   MRS.    LYDIA   B.    BACON.  73 

which  to  ride.  But  we  were  seated  with  the  General 
and  his  aid,  and  guarded  by  officers  of  suitable  rank  on 
horseback  to  prevent  our  escape.  Two  of  them  pre- 
ceded us,  two  rode  upon  each  side,  and  two  followed  us. 
All  of  them  rode  as  fast  as  their  horses  could  be  made 
to  go,  and  our  carriage  was  obliged  to  keep  up  with 
them.  True,  their  horses  were  none  of  the  best ;  but 
poor  as  they  were,  I  think  it  was  at  the  risk  of  our 
necks,  we  were  hurried  along  with  such  velocity.  I  pre- 
sume the  reason  for  this  excessive  speed  was  their  fear 
that  we  should  get  a  view  of  their  fortifications,  which 
were  erected  at  short  distances  from  Erie  to  Newark. 
In  descending  Queenstown  heights  I  expected  that  we 
should  be  precipitated  into  the  boiling  waters  below, 
but  a  kind  Providence  saved  us  from  such  a  catastrophe. 
My  head  whirled  as  I  endeavored  to  catch  a  view  of 
nature's  wonders  in  this  remarkable  locality.  We  dined 
at  a  hotel  near  the  Falls  of  Niagara.  These  Falls,  of 
which  I  had  long  heard  so  much,  I  had  a  great  desire 
to  see.  Indeed,  ever  since  we  came  west,  my  husband 
and  I  have  said  whenever  we  spoke  of  our  return,  '  We 
will  see  Niagara  when  we  go  home.'  Now  our  wish  could 
perhaps  be  gratified  ;  but  oh,  how  strangely  different 
from  our  anticipations.  Still  I  did  not  feel  disposed  to 
neglect  the  opportunity.  So  I  preferred  a  request  to 
the  officer  in  command,  telling  him  that  *  though  a 
prisoner,  I  trusted  I  might  be  permitted  to  visit  the 
Falls.'  He  very  pleasantly  answered  me  in  the  affir- 
mative, and  immediately  after  dinner  sent  a  guard  to 
escort  us  thither.  We  were  astonished  and  delighted 
with  this  stupendous  and  sublime  work  of  Nature,  or 
rather  I  should  say  of  Nature's  God.  But  we  were 

74  BIOGEAPHY   OF   MRS.    LYDIA   B.    BACON. 

allowed  only  a  short  time  for  our  stay,  as  it  was 
necessary  to  reacli  our  destined  stop^^ing  place  that 
afternoon.  In  conversing  with  the  gentlemen  who 
formed  our  escort,  we  found  that  they  w^ere  well 
acquainted  with  Lieutenant  Goodale  and  wife,  whom  I 
had  left  on  hoard  the  prison  ship  at  Maiden.  They  ex- 
pressed their  admiration  of  Mrs.  G ,  who  was  in 

truth  a  lovely  woman.  We  were  then  informed  that 
she  and  her  hushand  had  heen  sent  to  Montreal  a  short 
time  previous  to  this,  and  on  their  way  had  stopped  at 
Newark,  (the  place  to  which  we  were  now  bound,)  for 

some  weeks.     Here  Lieut.  G was  placed  in  close 

confinement  because  he  had  spoken  of  his  Majesty,  King 
George,  in  terms  which  were  offensive  to  the  ears  of  his 
loyal  subjects.  [I  wonder  if  our  polite  informers  re- 
peated this  as  a  wholesome  caution  to  us.]     I  afterwards 

learned  from  Mrs.  G herself  that  she  was  treated 

with  much  polite  attention  during  her  stay  at  Newark, 
by  the  British  officers  and  their  wives,  and  found  the 
ladies  very  pleasant  and  refined. 

"  We  resumed  our  seats  in  the  carriage  after  our 
return  from  the  Falls,  and  at  five  in  the  afternoon  we 
arrived  at  Newark.  This  is  a  very  pleasant  village 
directly  opposite  Fort  Niagara.  Here  we  found  good 
quarters,  and  soon  discovered  that  they  were  the  very 

rooms  which  were  occupied  by  Lieut.  G and  wife  ere 

he  was  ordered  into  closer  confinement.  It  was  quite  a 
pleasure  to  me  to  find  their  names  traced  upon  the  wall. 
But  we  were  not  detained  at  Newark  long.  Very 
providentially  for  us  Gen.  Brock  Avas  at  this  place,  on 
his  way  to  Montreal.  At  General  Hull's  request  he 
gave  my  husband  his  parole  because  his  wife  zvas  with 

BIOGRAPHY   OF   MRS.    LYDIA   B.    BACON.  /  0 

him.  So  WO  were  once  more  free.  Before  tlie  other 
officers  A\lio  desired  the  same  privilege  arrived,  General 
Brock  had  left,  and  they  were  obliged  to  proceed  to 
^lontreal.  There  those  only  ivlio  were  onarried  and  ae- 
companied  hy  their  ivivcs  were  also  liberated.  This 
greatly  provoked  the  officers  who  were  bachelors,  and 
made  them  very  desirous  of  such  an  addition  to  their 
welfare.  All  the  prisoners  v»dio  were  carried  to  Mon- 
treal were  marched  through  the  streets  there  and  around 
Nelson^s  monument  to  the  tune  of  Yankee  Doodle,  be- 
fore they  were  alloAved  to  put  up  for  the  night.  An 
insulting  display  of  triumph  tliis,  and  worthy  of  a  ruder 
age  and  a  more  barbarous  people  ! 

*'  My  dear  Josiah  having  received  his  parole  vras  most 
anxious  to  depart.  Accordingly  the  next  day  we  left 
King  George's  dominions  w^ith  heartfelt  joy.  We  had 
hut  tiventy-jive  cents  ivith  ivhich  to  travel  five  hundred 
miles,  the  troops  not  having  received  any  pay  for  a  long 
time.  The  communication  with  Detroit  being  so 
hazardous  the  money  had  not  been  sent.  All  the  cash 
we  had  when  taken  prisoners  was  tied  up  in  the  bundle 
which  I  lost  when  climbing  into  the  '  Queen  Charlotte.' 
But  our  poverty  did  not  dishearten  us,  so  delighted  were 
we  with  the  hope  of  being  once  more  in  our  own  country. 
The  river  which  divides  Newark  from  Niagara  is  there 
quite  narrow,  and  in  a  few  moments  we  were  safely 
landed  in  our  beloved  United  States.  We  breathed  a 
mental  hurra!  and  imagined  our  respiration  freer.  Oh, 
liberty  !  country !  home  !  ye  are  magic  words,  and  dear 
to  every  uncorrupted  human  heart ! 

"  We  went  immediately  to  the  fort,  escorted  by  our 
brother   officers,  who   saw   our   boat   approaching  and 


came  to  the  wharf  to  receive  us.  The  stone  building 
in  this  fort  was  erected  by  the  French  more  than  a 
century  ago.  It  is  situated  directly  on  the  bank  of 
Lake  bntario,  the  distance  between  the  building  and 
the  water  hardly  admitting  a  foot-path  in  its  rear.  Its 
high  windows,  its  lofty  and  massive  walls,  its  strong 
doors  and  broad,  solid  staircase  all  denote  the  purpose 
for  which  it  was  built. 

"  After  dinner  we  walked  by  invitation  to  the  house 
of  Dr.  West.  He  was  a  physician  in  the  army,  but  had 
purchased  a  beautiful  farm  on  the  lake,  where  his  family 
resided.  This  family  consisted  of  a  wife,  a  sister  and 
several  children.  We  passed  through  some  woods  near 
the  fort,  and  the  recollection  that  those  woods  had  been 
consecrated  by  the  prayers  of  the  sainted  Isabella 
Graham,  (a  name  which  I  feel  unworthy  even  to  repeat,) 
made  them  peculiarly  interesting.  I  had  now  been  for 
so  long  a  time  unaccustomed  to  walking,  that  in  going 
only  a  mile  and  a  half  my  feet  became  sadly  blistered. 
With  joy  I  hailed  the  appearance  through  the  trees  of 
the  house  where  I  was  to  rest  for  the  night.  We  were 
received  with  great  hospitality  by  .the  doctor's  family, 
who  manifested  their  interest  in  us  by  every  attention 
to  our  comfort  and  happiness.  Once  more  admitted  to 
a  pleasant  domestic  circle,  we  for  a  season  almost  forgot 
the  perils  through  which  we  had  passed,  and  felt  that  there 

was   something   yet   to   enjoy.     Miss  W ,  when   I 

retired  for  the  night,  followed  me  to  my  room,  and  with 
great  kindness  insisted  upon  bathing  my  blistered  feet- 
Nor  did  all  tlie  objections  which  I  could  raise  dissuade 
her  from  her  benevolent  purpose.  Surely  an  obligation 
is   laid   upon   me,  if  upon   any  one,  to  remember  the 


stranger,  for  as  a  stranger  I  have  experienced  a  thousand 
kindnesses  which  I  can  never  forget.  We  were  much 
refreshed  and  invigorated  by  our  sliort  stay  with  this 
excellent  family.  But  being  naturally  most  anxious  to 
see  our  dear  parents  and  relatives,  we  proceeded  the  next 
day  on  our  journey  towards  dear  New  England.  My 
husband  had  obtained  funds  for  this  purpose  from  the 
paymaster  at  Niagara.  At  this  time  the  stage  coacli 
did  not  run  farther  than  Buffalo,  which  was  about 
thirt^^-six  miles  from  Niagara.  So  we  hired  a  cart, 
which  was  the  best  vehicle  the  times  afforded.  In  this 
we  put  our  trunk,  and  spreading  a  mattress  over  it 
made  us  as  comfortable  a  seat  as  circumstances  would 
allow.  But  the  roads  were  dreadful,  being  most  of  the 
way  made  of  logs  slightly  covered  with  earth.  We 
bore  the  jolting  until  our  limbs  vrere  almost  dislocated, 
and  then  resorted  to  walking  as  a  relief.  But  fearing 
to  blister  my  feet  again,  which  were  still  very  tender,  I 
soon  returned  to  our  miserable  conveyance.  Thus  we 
journeyed  until  about  nine  in  the  evening,  when  we 
arrived  at  a  tavern,  the  only  one  within  our  reach,  and 
only  a  few  rods  from  the  Falls  of  Niagara.  We  had 
come  but  eighteen  miles  this  long  and  tedious  day. 
Besides  the  badness  of  the  roads  we  were  frequently 
interrupted  by  officers  stationed  along  the  route  who 
wished  to  learn  from  my  husband  the  particulars  of  the 
surrender,  which  they  had  only  imperfectly  heard. 
This  detained  us  very  much.  Wearied  exceedingly  with 
our  hard  day's  travel  we  thought  wo  should  gladly  avail 
ourselves  of  any  shelter  for  the  night,  however  mean. 
Upon  entering  the  house  I  was  immediately  struck  with 
the  absence  of  every  thing  that  could  be  called  com- 


fortable  and  feared  that  we  liad  not  exchanged  our 
situation  for  the  better ;  and  so  it  proved.     The  only 
female  whom  we  could  see,  prepared  us  a  miserable 
supper,  consisting  of  raw  sliced  onions  with  bread  and 
butter.     The    onions    she    cut   first,  then  the  butter, 
and  then  the  bread.     All  this  was  performed  with  one 
knife,   which   she   was  not  guilty   of  wiping.      After 
trying  in  vain  to  eat  of  this  untidy  repast,  we  sat  in 
silence  until  I  was  ready  to  drop  with  very  weariness, 
and  yet  was  fearful  to  look  at  our  accommodations  for 
sleeping.     While  waiting  for  our  supper  we  heard  a 
groan,   and   inquiring   the   cause,  were    told    that   it 
proceeded  from  a  young  soldier  who  lay  sick  in  the  house 
with   camp  fever.     When   exhaustion   obliged   me   to 
retire,  we  were  shown  up  a  ladder  through  the  room 
where  the  poor  young  man  lay.     He  appeared  to  be 
about  eighteen  years  old.     He  was  very  ill  indeed,  and 
looked  as  if  he  must  soon  die.     The  head  of  his  bed 
was  close  to  the  door  of  the  next  room,  which  we  were 
to   occupy,   and   this    door   being   unhinged   excluded 
neither  sight  nor  sound.     The  only  ventilation  for  the 
apartment  was  a  small  window  consisting  of  six  panes 
of  glass  mostly  broken.     Through  this  the  full  moon 
shone  with  uncommon  brilliancy,  and  served  to  render 
visible  the  extreme  filth  within.     The  room  contained 
two  beds,  and  owing  to  its  small  size  these  came  nearly 
in  contact  with  each  other.      In  one  of  them  lay  a 
traveler,  already  asleep  and  all  unconscious  of  the  weal 
or  woe  that  surrounded  him.     The  other  bed  was  re- 
served for   us,  but  was  so   extremely  disorderly   and 
unclean  that  all  my  senses  revolted  from  the  use  of  it. 
I  implored  my  husband  to  leave,  preferring  to  stay  out 

BIOGRAPHY   OF   MRS.    LYDIA   B.    BACON.  79 

doors,  any  where,  rather  than  pass  the  night  in  such  a 
place  as  this.  It  was  worse  than  any  thing  v^hich  I  had 
been  called  to  endure  in  the  whole  campaign.  My 
sujfferings  I  suppose  were  much  increased  by  my  having 
rode  and  slept  so  much  in  the  open  air  for  the  last  few 
months.  It  was  the  contrast  which  made  the  dirt  and 
confinement  appear  so  terrific.  But  my  husband  with 
his  prevailing  desire  to  make  the  best  of  every  thing, 
persuaded  me  to  stay.  Of  course  we  did  not  undress  ; 
but  spreading  our  handkerchiefs  upon  the  pillows  lay 
upon  the  outside  of  the  bod  until  morning.  In  addition 
to  the  discomforts  already  mentioned  innumerable 
vermin  began  to  prey  upon  our  wearied  bodies  with  un- 
exampled voraciousness.  Add  to  these  the  piercing 
groans  and  foetid  breath  of  the  dying  man,  and  the 
thundering  of  the  mighty  cataract,  (which  would  of 
itself  have  banished  sleep,)  and  you  have  some  faint 
idea  of  the  dreadful  night  vre  passed.  But  no  language 
can  adequately  describe  the  scene.  .  As  soon  as  the  day 
dawned  we  left,  and  as  we  passed  through  the  next 
room  we  saw  the  poor  young  soldier  gasping  his 
last  breath.  A  person  near  his  own  age,  perhaps 
a  brother,  was  kindly  tending  him.  Fearing  lest  we 
had  already  imbibed  this  malignant  disease  we  asked 
no  questions,  but  hasted  away.  While  the  man  who 
drove  us  was  attending  to  his  horse  and  making 
preparations  for  our  departure,  we  paid  another  brief 
visit  to  the  Falls  and  bade  them  adieu.  Eeturning,  we 
took  possession  once  more  of  our  yesterday^ s  coach  and 
proceeded  on  our  way.  But  we  met  with  the  same 
interruptions  as  on  the  day  previous  :  Josiah  having  to 
answer  innumerable  questions  at  every  place  through 


wliicli  we  passed  respecting  the  surrender.  Some  of 
these  queries  amused  us,  and  some  exceedingly  provoked 
us.  It  rained  also  during  a  part  of  tlie  day,  and 
our  only  shelter  was  an  umbrella,  wliicli  prevented  us 
from  being  wet  to  the  skin.  At  six  in  the  evening  we 
arrived  at  Batavia,  where  a  good  night's  rest  at  an  ex- 
cellent house  refreshed  us  beyond  measure,  and  prepared 
us  for  taking  the  stage  the  next  morning  with  much 
comfort.  The  coach  w\^s  easy,  the  roads  were  fine,  and, 
what  was  still  more  delightful,  we  found  agreeable 
companions.  There  was  an  onicer  in  the  American 
service,  a  most  intelligent  and  interesting  man.  There 
were  two  gentlemen  belonging  to  New  York  city  and 
on  their  way  thither.  Under  their  care  was  a  lady  with 
her  two  children  and  servants.  She  had  left  her 
father's  in  New  York  to  join  her  husband  at  Detroit. 
But  at  Buffalo  she  heard  of  the  surrender,  and  not 
knowing  Y\^here  to  find  her  husband,  who  was  now  a 
prisoner  in  the  hands  of  the  English,  she  was  obliged 
to  retrace  her  steps,  and  return  with  her  little  family 
to  lier  father's  house.  She  was  disappointed  of  course 
in  her  expectations  ;  but  the  hope  of  her  husband's 
speedy  liberation  and  re-union  with  her  in  New  York 
inspired  her  with  courage  and  cheerfulness.  Our  fellow 
travelers  all  proved  to  be  very  sociable  and  interesting. 
Their  minds  were  highly  cultivated,  and  their  manners 
pleasing  and  reiined.  Some  of  them  had  been  great 
travelers,  and  were  apt  at  communicating  the  pleasures 
which  they  had  enjoyed.  Mr.  Bacon  and  myself  v/ere 
so  exhilarated  with  the  prospect  of  returning  to  our 
home  and  our  friends  that  we  were  in  just  the  frame  of 
mind    to    enjoy  such   society   and    conversation.     Oh, 


youtli !  liow  ricli  and  varied  arc  thy  treasures !  how 
"bright  thy  dreams  of  future  good !  The  first  uight 
after  leaving  Batavia  we  spent  at  a  very  excellent  hotel, 
which,  however,  was  very  much  crowded,  though  large 
and  commodious.  We  were  obliged  to  share  our  room 
with  our  friend  the  officer,  as  it  contained  two  beds. 
But  we  slept  vrell  and  were  refreshed  by  a  most  excel- 
lent breakfast,  after  which  we  again  pursued  our  way. 
We  passed  through  several  pretty  villages,  Canandaigua, 
Skeneateles,  Auburn,  Geneva  and  others.  AVe  also 
crossed  lakes  and  rivers,  with  which  that  part  of  New 
York  State  abounds,  and  admired  the  beautiful  scenery 
which  we  had  never  before  seen.  Surely  all  these 
charming  creations  of  Almighty  power  ought  to  lead 
our  minds  to  their  Divine  Author,  who  has  made  all 
things  for  himself  and  nothing  in  vain.  We  arrived 
at  Utica,  a  delightful  village  on  the  banks  of  the 
Mohawk.  This  pretty  river  only  a  few  years  since 
wafted  the  light  canoes  of  the  aborigines  upon  its 
bosom,  and  their  rude  wigwams  adorned  its  banks. 
But  now  how  changed.  Beautiful  farms  charm  the 
eye  of  the  traveler  with  the  glories  of  rich  cultivation, 
and  stately  mansions  are  rising  upon  the  romantic 
slopes  which  look  down  in  grandeur  upon  the  sparkling 

"  We  put  up  for  the  night  at  '  Baggs'  Hotel.'  This 
house  is  renowned  for  the  elegance  of  its  accommoda- 
tions, as  is  its  proprietor  for  his  suavity  of  manners  and 
pleasing  attentions  to  all  those  who  are  so  fortunate  as 
to  make  this  their  resting-place.  Eefreshing  repose 
and  a  bountiful  table  prepared  us  anew  to  enjoy  the 
scenery  which  met  our  eye  as  we  traveled  on,  as  well  as 

82  BIOGRAPHY   OF   MRS.    LYDIA   B.    BACON. 

the  interesting  remarks  of  our  traveling  companions. 
We  soon  arrived  at  Albany,  congratulating  ourselves 
that  our  journey  thus  far  had  been  safely,  and  for  the 
most  part  agreeably  performed.  But  here  we  must 
separate  from  our  fellow-travelers  whom  we  had  come 
to  regard  as  friends,  and  part  with  no  expectation  of 
ever  meeting  them  again.  So  ifc  is — the  sadness  of 
loartings  must  always,  sooner  or  later,  succeed  to  the 
joy  of  meeting  !  And  are  our  social  tastes  and  instincts 
which  find  so  much  pleasure  in  their  cultivation,  and 
experience  so  much  pain  in  deprivation,  are  these  to 
perish  and  be  annihilated  when  our  bodies  return  to 
their  native  dust  ?  Believe  it  who  can.  For  my  own 
part  I  have  an  inborn  consciousness,  a  feeling  implanted, 
I  am  sure,  by  my  Creator,  that  my  thinking,  reasoning 
soul,  so  full  of  susceptibilities,  so  endued  with  energies 
is,  must  he  immortal, 

*  Else  whence  this  pleasmg  hojDe,  this  fond  de&he, 
This  longing  after  immortahty  ? 
Or  whence  this  secret  dread,  this  inward  horror 
Of  falling  into  nought  ?     Why  shrinks  the  soul 
Back  on  herself  and  startles  at  destruction  ? 
'Tis  the  divinity  that  stii's  within  us ; 
'Tis  Heaven  itself  that  points  out  to  an  hereafter, 

And  intimates  eternity  to  man. 


The  sold,  secured  in  her  existence,  smiles 
At  the  drawn  dagger,  and  defies  its  point. 
The  stars  shall  fade  away,  the  sun  himself 
Grow  dim  "snth  age,  and  nature  sink  m  years ; 
But  thou  shalt  flourish  in  immortal  youth  ; 
Unhurt  amid  the  war  of  elements, 
The  ^^Teck  of  matter  and  the  crush  of  worlds.' 

BIOGRAPHY   OF   MRS.    LTDIA   13.    RACOX.  83 

"  But   I   iinist   turn   from    Addison,  and   from    the 
friends  witli  wliom  I   parted,  to  anticipate   the  joy  of 
meeting  the  friends  to  whom  we  were  hastening,  and 
from  whom  we  liave  heen  separated   these   seventeen 
months.      Two  days  more  of  travel,  and  we    should 
behold  them.     The  thought  was  pleasaiit  indeed.     We 
found,  however,  on  inquiry,  that  if  we  continue  directly 
on  towards  Boston,  we  should  be  compelled  to  stay  over 
the  Sabbath  in  Northampton.     This  we  did  not  like  to 
do,  and  t-ierefore  concluded  to   remain   in  Albany  till 
Monday.     For  husband  had   been  informed  that  Gen- 
eral Dearborn  was  at   the  military  depot  near  Albany, 
and  with  him  were  a  number  of  officers  whom   Josiah 
very  much  vrished  to  see.     Saturday  morning  we  slept 
until  past  the  regular  breakfast  hour,  and  when  we 
arose  our  breakfast  was  sent  into  the  parlor  where  we 
were  sitting.     While  partaking  of  it,  a  Quaker  lady  of 
very  pleasing  aspect,  who  sat  by  the  window,  informed  us 
(as  a  piece  of  important  nev»s)  *  that  the  evening  previ- 
ous an  officer  and  Ms  lady  had  arrived  direct!//  from 
Detroit,  where  they  had  been   taken  prisoners  by  Gen- 
eral Brock.'     Finding   that  we  did  not  manifest  any 
surprise  at  the  intelligence,  and  perhaps  guessing  some- 
thin  o*  from   the  silent  smile   and  mutual  sio;nificance 
with  which  vre  heard  it,  slie  soon  contrived  to  draw  from 
us  the   acknowledgment   that  we  v^^ere  the   hero  and 
heroine  of  her  tale.     She  expressed  great  pleasure  at 
meeting  us,  and  made  many  inquiries  respecting  the 
transaction  which  had  caused  such  commotion  through- 
out the  country.     Her  views  upon  the  subject  of  war  in 
general,  did  not  very  materially  differ  from  my  own. 
We  both  deplored  it  as  an  evil,  all  hough  I  would  fain 

84  BIOGRAPHY   OF   MRS.    LYDIA   B.    BACOX. 

have  trouglit  lier  to  admit  that  it  was  sometimes  a 
necessary  evil.  I  believe  she  did  go  so  far  as  to  say 
*  that  if  ever  war  was  excusable,  it  was  a  war  of  defence.^ 

"  As  soon  as  it  was  known  that  my  husband  was  at 
Albany,  a  number  of  military  men  called  upon  him, 
and  he  was  diligently  employed  in  answering  the  innu- 
merable questions  which  each  new  comer  felt  eager  to 
ask.  For  since  the  days  of  Mother  Eve,  curiosity  has 
been  a  prevailing  foible  of  our  common  humanity.  In 
the  evening,  the  stage  arrived  from  Saratoga  Springs. 
A  lady  and  gentleman  alighting  from  it,  came  into  the 
parlor  where  we  sat.  I  soon  recognizedt  them  as 
Lawyer  Thurston  and  wife,  whom  I  had  often  met 
before  my  marriage,  at  my  aunt  Smith's.  Mrs.  "Thurs- 
ton was  an  intimate  friend  of  my  aunt,  and  associated 
with  her  as  managers  of  the  Female  Orphan  Asylum. 
I  longed  to  speak  to  her,  but  being  younger,  I  waited 
to  see  if  she  would  recollect  me,  and  it  was  not  lono; 
before  I  found  that  she  remembered  me  perfectly.  She 
and  her  husband  manifested  much  interest  in  us,  and 
we  passed  tlie  Sabbath  very  pleasantly  together.  For 
the  first  time  in  many  long  months,  we  enjoyed  the 
means  of  grace  and  went  to  the  sanctuary  with  none  to 
molest  or  make  us  afraid.  More  sweet  and  solemn 
than  ever  before  seemed  the  worship  of  God  in  his 
earthly  temple.  I  trust  I  felt  to  join  with  some  sin- 
cerity in  the  praise  of  Him  who  had  so  wonderfully 
preserved  me  and  mine. 

"  Monday  morning,  we  set  forward  toward  our  be- 
loved home,  cheered  with  the  prospect  of  soon  seeing 
our  dear  friends.  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Thurston  took  seats  in 
the  stage  with  us,  and  I  was  gratified  with  such  agree- 

BIOGRAPHY   OF   MRS.    LYDIA   B.    BACON.  85 

able  and  excellent  fellow  travelers.  We  have  been 
generally  most  fortunate  in  meeting  good  company 
wherever  our  lot  has  been  cast.  I  consider  this  a 
special  blessing,  fur  disagreeable  traveling  companions 
from  wliom  one  cannot  escape,  are  at  once  a  nuisance 
and  a  torment.  We  bad  a  great  deal  of  pleasant  and 
interesting  conversation  which  made  the  day  seem  very 
short,  although  we  did  not  reach  Northampton — our 
next  stopping-place — until  ten  o^clock  at  night.  Here 
a  good  supper  and  an  excellent  bed  refreshed  and 
invigorated  us,  and  in  the  morning  vre  pursued  our 
journey  with  all  the  eagerness  and  intensity  of  feeling 
which  our  situation  was  calculated  to  produce.  We 
went  on  very  rapidly  and  pleasantly  until  about  eleven 
in  the  mornino;  when  our  stao'e  coach  hrohe  doivn.  This 
I  suppose,  was  the  concealed  thorn  lurking  in  i\\Q  rose 
of  our  delight.  But  we  were  none  of  us  hurt,  and  with 
thankful  hearts,  we  took  our  seats  in  an  open  wagon, 
which  carried  us  to  the  point  where  our  stage  was  to 
exchange.  Here  a  convenient  carriage  awaited  us,  and 
without  farther  delay  we  proceeded  to  Boston,  where  we 
arrived  at  ten  in  the  evening,  and  were  received  by  my 
dear  mother  and  sisters  with  open  arms  and  a  shout  of 

It  is  to  be  regretted  that  Mrs.  Bacon's  journal  ends 
here.  .  Had  she  continued  the  practice  of  recording  the 
daily  incidents  of  her  life,  and  the  scenes  whicli  passed 
before  her  observant  eye,  together  with  the  thoughts 
and  feelings  which  these  elicited,  a  manuscript  of  rare 
interest  would  have  been  penned.  For  two  or  three 
years  after  their  return  from  their  western  campaign, 
Mrs.  Bacon  and  her  husband  remained  in  Boston, 


enjoying  tlie  society  of  clear  friends  and  kindred.  In 
the  latter  part  of  tlie  year  1815  they  removed  to 
Sackett's  Harbor,  New  York,  where  Mr.  B.  engaged  in 
trade  as  a  commission  merchant.  A  military  depot 
called  Fort  Madison  being  here  established,  our  friends 
had  the  satisfaction  of  finding  among  the  officers  some 
of  the  friends  with  whom  they  had  been  associated 
during  the  war.  They  also  made  many  new  and  most 
agreeable  acquaintances,  and  here  Mrs.  Bacon  con- 
tracted the  warmest  and  most  tender  friendships  of  her 
life.  Aside  from  family  ties  and  the  connections  of 
kindred,  the  attachments  which  were  formed  at  Sackett's 
Harbor  proved  the  most  delightful,  and  the  most  last- 
ing. Yery  soon  after  their  arrival  there,  Mr.  and  Mrs. 
B.  became  interested  in  the  subject  of  personal  religion, 
though  some  time  elapsed  ere  they  became  decided 
Christians  and  confessed  Christ  before  men.  Years 
afterward,  one  who  knew  them  well  in  speaking  of 
Mr.  B's  public  profession  of  faith  in  a  crucified  Ee- 
deemer  says,  "  When  that  position  was  taken,  it  was 
taken  never  to  he  surrendered.  Under  an  earthly  com- 
mander he  had  practiced  obedience,  where  to  obey  cost 
great  peril.  Surely  he  was  not  the  man  to  shrink 
from  duty,  or  fly  from  danger  wlien  the  great  captain 
of  our  salvation  laid  his  claims  upon  him.  During 
most  of  the  time  of  his  residence  at  Sackett's,  he  was  an 
active  member  of  the  Presbyterian  church  there,  and  a 
part  of  the  time  a  faithful  and  efficient  elder."  Mrs. 
Bacon's  efi'orts  there  were  very  early  directed  to  the 
formation  of  a  Sabbath  school.  In  this  good  work  she 
enlisted  with  youthful  ardor,  and  the  enthusiasm  of  her 
earnest   and   benevolent   nature.     A  small   but   most 


interesting  scliool  was  established,  and  with  a  few  kin- 
dred spirits,  Mrs.  Bacon  became  a  Sahhath  school 
teacher.  A  friend,  in  speaking  of  her  labors  and  efforts 
there,  remarks,  *'  For  many  years  she  was  the  head  and 
prime  supporter  of  Sackett's  Harbor  Sabbath  school. 
Once,  owing  to  deaths,  and  removals,  and  a  general 
declension  in  religious  feeling  it  seemed  impossible  to 
procure  a  single  teacher,  and  the  cry  was  '  our  enter- 
prise must  be  given  up.'  '  No,'  was  the  response  of 
Mrs.  Bacon,  '  I  shall  teach  alone  first.'  This  she  did, 
until  her  spirit  and  example  had  such  an  effect  that 
others  came  in,  the  work  of  the  Lord  was  revived,  and 
after  that,  there  was  no  lack  of  instructors."  Much 
pains  has  been  taken  to  ascertain  particulars  with 
respect  to  Mrs.  Bacon's  conversion.  It  doubtless  oc- 
curred as  before  stated,  soon  after  her  residence  at 
Sackett's  Harbor,  as  it  is  known  that  some  time 
elapsed  after  she  indulged  the  trembling  hope  that  she 
was  a  child  of  God  before  she  took  upon  herself  the 
vows  of  the  covenant.  The  record  of  the  S.  H.  church 
gives  the  date  of  her  admission  as  May,  1820.  And  a 
friend  writing  from  that  place  says  of  her,  "  She  has 
many  times  been  heard  to  remark  that  she  had  no 
consciousness  of  any  sudden  or  remarlcahle  change,  as  is 
the  case  with  many.  With  her,  the  work  appeared  to 
be  a  gradual  one,  until  the  time  that  she  fully  decided 
to  come  out  from  the  world  and  be  upon  the  Lord's 
side.  It  may  seem  strange  to  some  that  a  lady  so 
enthusiastic  as  Mrs.  B.  should  have  no  more  marked 
religious  experience.  But  one  thing  is  certain.  None 
who  knew  her,  or  were  acquainted  with  her  labors  of 
love,  and  her  indefatigable  perseverance  in  overcoming 

88  ciOGHArnY  of  mrs.  lydl\  b.  baco^. 

every  obstacle  to  promote  the  conversion  of  others 
can  for  a  moment  doubt  that  she  herself  was  a  rich 
partaker  of  the  grace  of  Christ/'  Another  friend 
at  the  Harbor  says,  "  3Iy  memory  is  stored  with 
such  a  variety  of  scenes  and  circumstances  connected 
with  Mrs.  B's  Christian  exertions  while  here  that  it 
would  of  itself  make  a  volume.  But  these,  after  all, 
are  only  such  as  we  read  and  hear  of  every  day — deeds 
of  kindness  to  the  poor  and  degraded,  bringing  them 
into  the  Sabbath  school,  feeding  the  hungry,  clothing 
the  naked,  instructing  the  ignorant — such  deeds  as 
claim  the  promise  of  our  Saviour  :  '  Inasmuch  as  ye 
did  it  unto  one  of  the  least  of  these  ye  did  it  unto 
me.' '' 

From  one  of  Mrs.  Bacon's  beloved  Sabbath  scholars 
at  Sackett's,  who  is  now  the  wife  of  an  esteemed  min- 
ister, a  letter  has  been  received,  from  which  the  follow- 
ing extract  is  taken.  *'  Among  my  very  earliest  recol- 
lections are  the  efforts  which  Mrs.  B.  made  for  the  little 
ones  of  the  Sabbath  school.  She  won  us  to  the  Saviour 
by  her  own  warm-hearted  love  to  him  and  her  tearful 
earnestness  in  the  matter  of  our  salvation.  Well  do  I 
remember  her  instructions,  and  her  unwearied  exer- 
tions to  make  us  understand  and  love  the  Scriptures. 
She  tried  to  persuade  us  to  love  Christ  and  do  good  in 
imitation  of  his  divine  example.  She  made  us  believe 
that  as  baptized  children  of  the  church  and  Sabbath 
school  children  we  ouo-ht  not  to  live  as  the  children  of 
the  world  lived.  She  taught  us  that  we  were  not 
cyphers  but  responsible  beings,  and  capable  of  honor- 
ing Christ  though  we  were  the  little  ones  of  the  flock. 
She  interested  herself  in  all  our  little  affairs,  temporal 


as  well  as  spiritual,  and  won  us  to  love  lier  by  lier 
evident  interest  in  our  welfare.  Had  we  any  childish 
disj^utes  to  settle,  any  problem  of  duty  or  any  little 
doubts  to  solve  she  was  our  mediator  and  arbiter.  And 
perhaps  nothing  would  bring  a  recreant  child  to  duty, 
or  quell  the  turbulent,  so  quickly  and  quietly  as  the 
threat  of  a  playmate  '  to  tell  Auntie  Bacon.'  Nothing 
gave  me  more  pleasure  than  to  receive  permission  from 
my  mother  to  visit  her,  with  a  bunch  of  flowers  or  some 
little  gift.  Perfectly  charmed,  I  would  sit  and  listen 
to  every  word  which  dropped  from  her  lips,  watching, 
meanwhile,  her  busy  fingers  which  plied  the  needle 
with  as  much  ease  and  grace  as  she  conversed,  llany 
a  time  have  I  returned  home,  and  taking  my  patch- 
work, seated  myself  beside  my  mother,  in  the  humble 
endeavor  to  imitate  the  industry  of  my  beloved  teacher. 
When  she  taught  by  precept,  she  did  it  in  so  gentle  and 
easy  a  manner,  that  it  appeared  to  be  less  her  object  to 
instruct  than  to  interest.  Yet  her  words  left  an  im- 
pression on  the  mind  and  heart  not  easily  effaced.  Her 
heart  vras  right  with  God  ;  and  '  out  of  the  abundance 
of  the  heart'  she  spake.  She  thus  commanded  the 
respect  of  all,  and  could  converse  any  where  and  at  all 
times  on  religious  subjects  with  great  ease.  She  never 
feared  to  rebuke  sin  in  high  or  low  places,  but  always 
with  so  much  kindness  and  Christian  love  as  not  to  give 
offence.  She  was  once  invited  to  a  social  gathering 
among  the  officers  of  the  navy-yard  and  their  wives. 
At  the  close  of  the  entertainment  a  dance  was  got  up. 
Mrs.  Bacon  not  only  declined  a  participation  in  this 
gayety,  but  reproved  a  professing  Christian  present  for 
eno-ao-ins:  in  it.     This  she  did  with  such  wisdom  and 

o    o — iD 


meekness  as  not  onlj  carried  conviction  to  the  mind  of 
tlic  inconsistent  disciple,  and  induced  lier  to  abandon 
the  practice,  hut  won  her  heart  to  her  faithful  monitor. 
Mrs.  Bacon's  constant  aim  was  to  do  good  at  all  times  ; 
in  her  house,  by  the  way,  in  the  social  circle,  every- 
where her  words  distilled  as  the  dew.  But  she  taught 
still  more  by  her  example.  Who  among  the  living  has 
done  so  much  in  this  way  ?  In  the  sewing  circle,  in 
the  female  prayer-meeting,  in  the  conference  room,  the 
sanctuary,  and  the  Sabbath  school,  her  presence  and 
demeanor  was  most  exemplary.  Indeed,  so  constant 
was  her  attendance,  that  if  she  ever  failed  to  be  present, 
we  invariably  went  to  see  if  she  was  sick. 

''  The  little  white  cottage  in  which  she  lived  at  Sack- 
ett's,  how  lovely  it  was.  Embowered  in  roses  and 
honeysuckles,  and  every  inch  of  ground  around  it  in 
the  highest  state  of  cultivation.  How  sweet  were  the 
moments  spent  there  with  this  best  and  dearest  of 
friends  V^  The  remainder  of  Mrs.  Bacon's  history  will 
be  gathered  almost  wholly  from  her  correspondence. 

The  letters  of  Mrs.  Bacon,  although  written  without 
the  remotest  idea  of  publicity,  are,  I  think,  all  that 
could  be  desired  for  insertion  in  this  brief  memorial. 
For  it  is  the  simple  record  of  one's  daily  life,  thoughts, 
and  feelings  which  most  deeply  interests  us  when 
studying  an  individual  history.  And  surely  these 
unstudied  epistles  to  her  kindred  and  friends  so  minute, 
so  full,  so  tender,  kind,  and  solemn,  bring  the  writer 
before  us  as  she  tvas.  As  w^e  read  them,  we  feel  a  sym- 
pathetic share  in  her  joys  and  sorrows,  and  almost 
identify  ourselves  with  the  different  scenes  and  events 
in  which  she  was  an   actor  and   a  participant.     I  only 

BIOGRAPHY   OF   MRS.    LYDIA   B.    BACON.  91 

regret  tliat  I  have  not  more  of  these  letters  to  copy.  A 
large  number  whicli  were  written  to  lier  mother  during 
some  of  the  most  interesting  periods  of  Mrs.  Bacon's 
life  were,  after  the  decease  of  that  beloved  and  venera- 
ble relative,  restored  to  Mrs.  B.,  and  by  her  committed 
to  the  flames.  She  had  held  a  most  interesting  corres- 
pondence with  a  friend  at  the  Sandwich  Islands,  but 
the  distance,  and  the  length  of  time  which  must  inter- 
vene before  they  could  be  received,  coupled  with  the 
uncertainty  whether  they  had  been  preserved,  seemed  to 
render  it  inexpedient  to  wait  for  them.  With  regard 
to  the  arrangement  of  the  letters  which  follow,  as  far 
as  it  respects  priority  of  date  or  location,  entire  exact- 
ness is  not  pretended.  They  are  for  the  most  part 
given  as  they  seemed  most  naturally  to  come. 
The  first  is  to  her  mother,  and  is  dated 

"  SacJcett's  Earhor,  Sept  22d,  1824. 
"  My  dear  Mother : — T is  to  start  for  Boston  to- 
morrow, and  I  cannot  let  so  good  an  opportunity  pass 
without  improving  it  by  a  letter  to  you.     I  was  very 

sorry  to  learn  from  A that  your  eyes  are  troubling 

you  so  much.  Not  only  do  I  regret  this  for  your  own 
sake,  but  also  for  mine,  as  it  deprives  me  of  the  pleasure 
of  receiving  letters  from  your  own  hand.  I  cannot 
urge  you  to  write  unless  you  can  do  it  with  ease  to 
yourself,  and  if  I  can  contribute  to  your  happiness  by 
writing  to  you  it  will  be  a  pleasure  to  me  to  do  it.  I 
hope  you  will  take  good  care  of  your  health  and  not 
injure  yourself.  You  have  done  your  share  of  work, 
and  ought  now  to  live  at  your  ease.  I  do  not  mean 
{dly,  for  I  know  you  would  not  be  happy,  but  do  only 


just  wliat  you  please,  and  take  care  not  to  lolease  to  do 
much.  While  dressing  for  dinner  to-day,  I  thought 
what  a  pleasure  could  I  pass  the  afternoon  with  you  and 
my  sisters  !  But  the  thought  savored  of  murmuring, 
and  so  IcJiecJced  it  For  what  right  have  I  to  complain 
when  I  knovf  that  my  Heavenly  Father  has  set  the 
bounds  of  my  hahitation.  May  resignation  to  his 
divine  will  mark  all  the  thougJits  of  my  heart  as  well  as 
the  acts  of  my  life.  May  I  be  enabled  to  fill  up 
life  with  usefulness,  working  while  the  day  lasts,  *  for 
the  night  cometh  in  which  no  man  can  work.'  When 
I  look  back  upon  the  years  of  my  pilgrimage,  the  ret- 
rospect causes  me  many  a  pang  of  sorrow  and  regret. 
So  much  time  wasted,  so  many  opportunities  to  gain 
knowledge  misimproved ;  '  unprofitable  servant '  is 
wl-itten  against  every  day  of  my  life.  But  amidst  all 
this,  what  cause  have  I  to  praise  God  for  his  goodness 
to  me ;  for  health,  and  a  disposition  to  wait  on  him  in 
his  sanctuary ;  for  so  many  precious  privileges ;  for 
faith  to  believe  in  his  promises,  and  firm  confidence  that 
he  will  order  all  things  for  my  good.  Oh,  what  a 
Father  we  have  !  My  dear  mother,  with  such  a  God 
what  have  we  to  fear  ?  If  we  are  his,  nothing  can  harm 
us.  Lot  us  then  hold  fast  this  hope  as  an  anchor  to 
the  soul,  and  pray  much  that  our  faith  fail  not ;  so 
shall  all  the  dispensations  of  his  Providence  be  sanctified 
to  us  v-'hethcr  prosperous  or  adverse.  I  hope  my  dear 
mother  is  enjoying  the  liglit  of  God's  countenance,  and 
that  her  path  shines  brighter  and  brighter.  In  our 
journey  to  the  Heavenly  Canaan  we  must  advance  or 
retrograde,  we  cannot  stand  still. 

"  I  have  to  lament  that  our  church  here  is  in  a  cold 

BIOGRAPHY   OF   MRS.    LYDIA   B.    BACOX.  93 

state.  There  are  none  inquiring  tlie  way  to  Zion  ;  none 
under  conviction  of  tlieir  sin  and  misery.  Our  Sabbath 
and  evening  meetings  are  well  attended  by  the  impeni- 
tent ;  but  as  message  after  message  is  sounded  in  their 
ears  with  no  apparent  impression,  I  sometimes  think 
they  are  gospel  hardened.  Judgments  too  are  in  our 
midst,    several   very   sudden    deaths    having   recently 

occurred.       Two   men   in   Mr.    C 's   employ   vfere 

drowned,  another  died  of  fever.     Mrs.  H has  lost 

her  dear  little  daughter,  just  a  year  and  a  half  old. 
She  was  a  beautiful  child.  She  had  been  complaining 
for  some  time,  but  no  one  thought  her  dangerous  until 
she  was  seized  with  fits  and  died  in  a  few  hours.     To 

add   to  this  affliction,   Mr.   H was  absent  at  the 

time,  and  has  not  yet  returned.  But  the  bereaved 
mother  bears  her  trials  with  true  'Christian  fortitude. 
I  think  they  have  been  peculiarly  sanctified  to  her,  and 
when  that  is  the  case  afflictions  are  certainly  blessings. 

Mrs.  H esteems  you  much,  dear  mother,  and  often 

inquires    after   you   with   aff'ection.       Dear   old   Lady 

B has  just  returned  to  this  place  with  apparently  as 

good  health  as  ever  she  enjoyed.  She  speaks  often  of 
you,  and  inquires  if  you  will  not  come  here  again.  I 
must  tell  you  that  the  female  prayer-meeting  is  held 
at  our  house.  It  is  attended  by  increasing  numbers, 
and  we  have  some  precious  seasons  of  communion  with 
God  and  with  each  other.  But  I  must  close  with  love 
to  all  the  dear  friends.  When  I  write  to  you,  dear 
mother,  I  feel  that  I  am  addressing  the  rest,  because  I 
know  that  they  all  read  my  letters.  But,  adieu. 
Your  aff'ectionate  cliild, 

Lydia  B.  Bacon.'' 

94  BICGRAPnY  OF  MRS.   LYDIA  B.    BAC02T. 

This  is  the  only  letter  extant  written  by  our  friend 
during  the  fourteen  or  fifteen  years  of  her  residence  at 
the  Harbor,  xifter  several  years  of  prosperous  busi- 
ness there  as  a  merchant,  a  season  of  great  commercial 
pressure  affected  the  interests  of  Mr.  Bacon  most  un- 
favorably, and  obliged  him  to  abandon  the  situation 
which  had  been  so  pleasant  to  himself  and  his  dear 
companion.  But  although  stripped  of  all  their  re- 
sources, and  under  considerable  pecuniary  liabilities, 
they  did  not  despond.  As  they  would  neither  eat  the 
bread  of  idleness  or  dependence,  they  anxiously  sought 
a  situation  whore  they  might  obtain  an  honest  and 
comfortable  livelihood.  This  was  found  at  Sandwich, 
Mass.,  and  thither  they  removed  in  1829.  "  There  for 
twelve  years,'^  says  my  informant,  "  Mr.  Bacon  identified 
himself  with  the  cause  of  Christ,  superintending  the 
Sabbath  school,  leading  or  seconding  every  religious 
enterprise,  being  a  standard  and  a  burden  bearer  during 
his  entire  residence  in  that  place.  There  he  also  held 
civil  oflaces  of  trust  and  responsibility,  and  was  three 
times  sent  to  the  General  Court  of  this  State  as  a 
Eepresentative.  Of  Mrs.  Bacon's  active  participation 
in  every  good  work  her  letters  afford  abundant  evidence. 

The  first  is  to  one  of  her  dear  Christian  friends  in 
Sackett's  Harbor,  and  is  dated 

"  Sandwich,  March  20tJi,  1830. 
"  Think  not,  my  ever  dear  sister,  because  I  have  de- 
layed writing  you  so  long,  or  have  written  others  before 
you,  that  you  are  tJie  less  beloved.  Oh,  no !  Your 
friendship  has  been  one  of  the  prominent  sweets  in  the 
mixture  which  has  been  my  lot  since  my  acquaintance 


with  you.  I  trust  that  the  union  of  hearts  found 
amidst  trials  and  difficulties,  and  the  exalted  commu- 
nion of  Christian  intercourse  will  not  be  broken  or  in 
the  least  degree  weakened  by  our  separation.  Your 
image,  my  loved  Harriet,  is  often,  very  often  with  mo, 
and  your  repeated  kindnesses  afford  me  a  pleasing  and 
grateful  retrospect.  I  cannot  tell  you  how  much  I 
think  of  my  Sackett's  Harbor  friends.  The  blessed 
news  of  a  revival  of  religion  among  you,  which  was 
communicated  by  your  dear  husband  and  confirmed  by 
our  belovTd  pastor,  fills  us  with  inexpressible  delight. 

"  Oh,  how  can  we  ever  doubt  the  great  '  I  Am,'  or 
despair  of  the  conversion  of  any  sinner,  when  we  are 
constantly  experiencing  the  fulfillment  of  those  promises 
which  are  all  '  Yea  and  amen  in  Christ  Jesus.'     Dear 

H ,  do  you  not  feel  fresh  courage  to  persevere  in 

the  path  of  duty  ?  In  imagination  I  hear  the  sound  of 
the  neio  hell,  calling  those  vvho  love  the  courts  of  the 
Lord  to  mingle  their  prayers,  praises  and  penitential 
tears  at  his  altar.  For  God  delights  in  the  sacrifice  of 
a  humble  and  contrite  spirit.  I  have  fancied  also  that  I 
could  see  numbers  flocking  to  that  little  school-house, 
and  with  tearful  earnestness  inquiring  '  what  i\\Qj  must 
do  to  be  saved.'  Oh,  that  we  may  hear  that  the  good 
work  is  still  progressing. 

"  I  am  more  than  ever  convinced  of  the  superior 
religious  privileges  which  have  been  for  many  years 
enjoyed  at  the  Harbor.  "While  in  Boston,  I  heard  sev- 
eral of  their  most  pungent  preachers,  such  as  Dr.  B 

and   son,    Mr.   M ,   Mr.  W ,   and   Mr.  P . 

But  I  heard  no  preaching  more  faithful  than  that  at 
the  Harbor.     You  have  again,  my  dear  H ,  been 


called  to  mourn.  Often  lias  tlie  shaft  of  death  entered 
3'Oiir  family,  and  though  in  the  present  instance  3'ou 
were  somewhat  prepared,  yet  no  doubt  the  loss  of  one 
endeared  by  relationship,  as  well  as  by  Christian  and 
social  virtues,  and  who  was  of  such  importance  to  her 
family  must  be  severely  felt.  I  had  a  great  desire  to 
see  her  when  I  was  at  Northampton,  and  took  a  long 
and  fatiguing  walk  for  that  purpose.  But  her  physi- 
cian did  not  think  an  interview  best,  and  this  made  me 
fear  she  vras  not  as  well  as  I  had  been  led  to  believe. 
Well,  she  is,  I  trust,  at  rest ;  her  trials  and  disappoint- 
ments all  are  over,  and  she  can  nov/  see  that  the  path 
to  her  so  thorny  was  all  ordered  in  tender  mercy  by 
Him  who  '  doth  not  afflict  willingly,  or  grieve  the  chil- 
dren of  men.^  I  sincerely  hope  that  this  bereavement 
may  be  sanctified  to  her  husband,  and  result  in  his 
conversion.  Then  would  he  be  more  than  ever  qual- 
ified to  discharge  the  important  duties  which  devolve 
upon  him  in  the  double  tie  which  now^  binds  him  to  his 
motherless  children. 

"  Tell  i/oi'j'  dear  mother  that  I  enjoy  now  the  society 
of  7717/  dear  mother.  We  are  so  near  that  we  have  con- 
stant intercourse.  She  is  very  well  and  pleasantly 
situated.  My  dear  husband  is  also  well,  and  is  much 
engaged  in  the  Sabbath  school  here.  Mr.  B men- 
tioned that  Mrs.  C is  superintendent  of  the  female 

school  at  Sackett^s  Harbor.  I  am  happy  to  hear  it,  for 
I  think  her  well  qualified  for  the  situation.  I  learn 
also  that  there  is  an  increased  attendance  at  the  school 
since  the  revival  of  religion.  I  ardently  long  to  hear 
that  some  of  the  dear  cliildren  have  become  subjects  of 
this  work  of  grace.     Are  there  any  new  teachers,  and 


do  the  old  ones  continue  punctual  and  engaged?  Ee- 
mcmber  me  to  botli  teacliers  and  fcscliolars  as  you  Jiave 

opportunity.     Tell   Clarissa  G that  her  gift  has 

been  of  great  service  to  me,  and  will  be  kept  with  much 
care  as  a  memorial  of  the  affectionate  little  Sabbath 
scholar  who  presented  it.  I  presume  your  female 
prayer-meeting  has  increased  in  numbers  since  the 
attention  to  religion.  Ah !  I  often  think  of  that  dear 
little  meeting  and  of  the  precious  few  who  united  their 
prayers  and  praises  at  our  Father's  throne.  We  have 
a  similar  meeting  here.  Our  Sabbath  school  is  not  so 
flourishing  as  yours.  It  has  been  sustained  through 
the  winter  for  the  first  time  in  its  history.  They  were 
about  dismissing  it  when  we  came,  but  we  prevailed 
upon  them  to  continue  it.  They  are  now  much  pleased 
that  they  have  done  so.  We  find  enough  to  do  here, 
and  I  trust  that  we  feel  it  a  privilege  thus  to  employ 
the  talent  entrusted  to  us.  I  am  sensible  that  I  do  my 
duty  very  imperfectly,  and  I  more  than  ever  feel  my 
insufficiency  for  the  responsibilities  devolving  upon  me. 
I  try  to  look  to  him  who  has  promised  to  be  the  strength 
of  all  who  put  their  trust  in  him.     Remember  me  to 

dear  Mrs.  B ;  her  trial  has  indeed  been  severe  in 

the  loss  of  her  eldest  son.  May  God  comfort  her  !  Do 
not  fail  to  remember  me  also  to  all  who  may  inquire 
for  me.  And  now,  dear  H.,  write  soon,  and  give  me 
full  particulars  respecting  yourself  and  others.  Noth- 
ing that  transpires  at  the  Harbor  will  be  uninteresting 
to  me.  With  many  prayers  that  you  and  yours  may 
enjoy  a  continuance  of  every  blessing  and  a  heart  to 
appreciate  them,  I  remain,  in  the  strong  bond  of 
Christian  affection.     Yours, 

*'  Lylia  B.  Bacon." 


98  BIOGRAPHY   OF   MRS.    LYDIA   B.    BACO^". 

The  following  extract  from  a  letter  to  the  child  of 
her  friend  is  given  as  a  specimen  of  her  regard  for 
children,  and  her  affectionate  endeavors  to  make  them 
happy.  I  think  that  I  never  knew  a  childless  couple 
to  wdiom  children  were  so  uniformly  attached  as  Capt. 
and  Mrs.  Bacon.  My  own  children  both  loved  and 
venerated  them,  and  will  never,  I  am  sure,  forget  them. 
The  rare  flowers  which  were  sent  me  by  Mrs.  B.  to 
strew  around  the  faded  form  of  my  darling  Mattie  in 
her  coffin,  and  the  sweet  plants  which  she  gave  my 
remaining  daughter  to  plant  upon  her  sister's  grave, 
will  be  remembered  while  life  lasts.  Yes,  Mrs.  B. 
loved  children,  and  w^ell  deserved  their  love  in  return. 
But  we  wall  read  a  part  of  the  letter  referred  to. 

"  To  Miss  Harriet. 

**  I  thought  I  perceived  in  the  countenance  of  my 
little  friend  when  I  promised  to  write  to  her,  an  expres- 
sion of  incredulity,  as  if  she  thought  an  old  lady  like 
Auntie  Bacon  could  not  or  would  not  write  to  a  little 
girl.  But  as  I  always  endeavor  never  to  promise  with- 
out fulfilling  my  word,  I  must  rob  your  good  mother 
of  a  corner  of  her  paper  to  tell  my  dear  little  pet  that  I 
have  not  forgotten  her.  I  have  many  dear  children  to 
love  in  this  part  of  the  country,  some  of  w  hom  are  my 
dear  nieces  and  nephews.  But  a  corner  of  my  heart  is 
reserved  for  my  sweet  Harriet,  w^ho  often  by  her  affec- 
tionate caresses  soothed  my  sad  or  weary  moments.  I 
think  I  hear  you  greeting  me  when  at  play  in  your 
yard,  or  if  you  saw^  me  across  the  street  how  soon  w^ould 
come  bounding  along  the  tiny  form,  expressing  so  much 
pleasure  in  the  meeting.^^ 

BIOGRAPHY   OF   MRS.    LYDIA   B.    BACOX.  99 

The  next  letter  is  to  one  of  the  dear  young  people  in 
Sackett^s  Harbor,  formerly  a  Sabbath  scholar  of  Mrs. 

Bacon's  from  whom   Mrs.  B had  just  received  a 

most  affectionate  letter,  desiring  a  correspondence. 

"  Sandxiicli,  3Iass.,  April  10,  1830. 
"  Most  heartily  and  readily  do  I  reciprocate  the  wish 
of  my  beloved  Elizabeth  to  correspond,  and  thus  con- 
tinue a  friendship  for  one  whose  affectionate  attentions 
have  alleviated  many  trials  which  it  was  my  lot  to 
endure  while  a  resident  at  Sackett's  Harbor.  For  I 
cannot  now  revert  to  your  unnumbered  kindnesses,  and 
those  of  your  family  to  one  so  unworthy,  (and  who  had 
no  particular  claims  upon  you,)  without  tears  of  affec- 
tion and  gratitude.  None  but  the  unfortunate,  possess- 
ing hearts  of  sensibility  and  refinement  can  realize  the 
solace  impart-ed  by  the  delicate  attentions  of  those  whom 
we  love  and  esteem.  The  contents  of  your  letter  were 
devoured  with  avidity,  both  by  Mr.  Bacon  and  myself, 
especially  that  part  of  it  which  related  to  the  wonderful 
work  of  grace  with  which  you  have  been  visited.  The 
delio;htful  tidino-s  that  some  for  whom  we  had  lono;  felt 
anxiety  had  at  length  submitted  to  the  supremacy  of 
him  who  is  '■  Lord  of  all '  excited  in  our  hearts  the  most 
tender  and  grateful  emotions.  Gladly  would  we  have 
flown  on  wings  of  joy  and  love  to  congratulate  them  on 
their  recovery  from  the  service  of  sin  and  Satan. 
Doubtless  souls  are  alike  precious  in  the  estimation  of 
Jehovah,  But  we,  poor  finite  beings  cannot  well  help 
feeling  a  peculiar  interest  in  the  conversion  of  those 
with  whom  we  are  more  intimately  connected  or  ac- 
quainted.    That  dear  youth,  Walter  K.,  I  do  hope  will 


be  an  influential,  active  Christian,  one  who  will  on  all 
occasions  let  his  light  shine,  and  thereby  lead  others  to 
irlorifv  his  Father  in  Heaven.     You  mention  William 

F .     He  was  one  of  our  first  Sahhath  scholars,  and 

his  case  is  one  of  much  interest  to  me,  and  so  indeed 
are  many  others  whom  you  mention.  How  delightful 
to  see  so  many  in  their  youth,  and  others  in  the  merid- 
ian of  life  come  over  on  the  Lord's  side.  Oh,  the7'e  will 
he  no  dearth  of  Sabbath  school  teachers  now  !  My  imag- 
ination is  often  with  you  in  that  dear  school,  and  in 
that  beloved  sanctuary  where  my  heart  has  been  so 
often  warmed  while  my  mind  was  banqueting  on  the 
Gospel  feast.  Those  were  precious  seasons  never  to  be 
forgotten.  There  were  dear  friends  with  whom  per- 
haps we  shall  never  again  unite  in  the  pleasant  services 
of  God's  house  on  earth,  but  may  we  be  so  blest  as  at 
last  to  meet  in  that  upper  sanctuary  where  are  no  more 
separations.     I  cannot   tell   you,  my  sweet   Elizabeth, 

how  anxiously  we  have  looked  for  the  name  of 

among  the  converts.  Why  is  it  that  a  heart  so  kind  to 
others  should  be  so  cruel  to  himself?  Why  should  one 
who  so  delights  in  making  others  happy  withhold  his 
choicest  affections  from  that  Being  who  with  a  bounti- 
ful hand  has  loaded  him  with  benefits  ?  Oh,  may  he 
speedily  be  brought  to  realize  that  there  is  a  treasure 
in  heaven,  and  make  that  treasure  his  own.     It  is  truly 

gratifying  to  see  the  names   of  Mr.   and  Mrs.  E 

among  the  happy  number  who  have  joined  themselves 
to  the  Lord  in  a  covenant  never  to  be  broken.     Mr. 

E will,  I  am  sure,  be  a  very  useful  brother,  being 

a  man  of  energy  and  decision  of  character.     Mr.  P 

and  Mr.  Mc  K also  will  be  great  helps.     Great 

BIOGRAPHY   or  MRS.   LYDIA   B.   BACON.  101 

changes  have  taken  place  in  Sackett's  since  we  left. 
A  few  weeks  after  our  departure,  some  of  the  fairest  of 
the  youth  were  suddenly  snatclicd  by  death  from  the 
arms  of  their  disconsolate  friends  ;  others,  as  the  result 
of  protracted  disease,  were  called  to  their  account. 
But  in  the  midst  of  wrath,  God  remembered  mercy,  and 
the  conviction  and  conversion  of  sinners  has  been  the 
angelic  theme  which  occupied  every  tongue.  Oh,  how 
long-suffering  and  compassionate  is  that  Being  who  has 
all  power,  both  to  destroy  and  to  save.  He  is  indeed  a 
God  who  heareth  and  answereth  prayer,  and  constantly 
verifies  his  promises  to  his  believing  children.  By  the 
recent  accounts  from  the  Sandwich  Islands,  kings 
and  queens  'are  still  nursing  fathers  and  mothers  to  the 
church.  How  very  interesting  to  have  seen  that  young 
king  and  queen  dedicating  their  all  to  Jehovah  !  Ke- 
member  us  with  much  affection  to  your  beloved  family. 
May  we  not  flatter  ourselves  that  in  some  of  your 
journeys  you  will  visit  Sandwich.  It  is  a  quiet,  pleas- 
ant village  on  the  Cape,  and  the  glass  works  are  worth 
seeing,  being  an  extensive  establishment.  We  have 
many  comforts  and  blessings.  My  dear  husband  has 
perfect  health,  even  better  than  before  his  sickness. 
With  much  love  to  yourself  and  friends,  and  Mr,  B.  in 
jMrticuIar,  I  remain 

"  Your  affectionate 

"  Lydia  Bacon." 

Another  letter  follows  to  the  same  young  friend,  who 
had  been  suffering  severely  from  a  species  of  neuralgia 
in  the  head,  and  had  expressed  a  desire  for  '  a  long 


comforting  letter'  from  Mrs.  B.,  together  witli  some 
surprise  that  it  should  be  delayed. 

''  Sandwich,  July  2(jth,  1830. 
"  Sympathy  for  your  poor  head,  my  precious  child, 
has  made  me  withhold  my  pen  until  the  present  time. 
I  assure  you  this  has  required  some  self-denial,  for  it 
affords  me  much  pleasure  to  receive  and  answer  your 
affectionate  epistles.  Would  that  I  could  relieve  you  of 
that  dreadful  pain.  I  sympathize  with  you  most  truly 
in  this  severe  trial ;  hut  I  feel  assured  my  sweet  young 
friend  realizes  who  it  is  that  thus  afflicts  her.  If  a 
child  of  the  Most  High,  there  is  a  '  needs-be '  for  your 
suffering,  for  our  heavenly  Father  doth  not  afflict  his 
children  willingly.  And  though  for  the  present  not 
joyous  hut  grievous,  yet  the  end  may  work  out  for  you 
the  peaceable  fruits  of  righteousness.  It  is  salutary  to 
reflect  much  on  the  sufferings  of  Christians  in  past  ages, 
and  especially  on  the  trials  and  sorrows  of  our  Divine 
Redeemer,  who  suffered  even  unto  death  that  he  might 
bring  us  to  God.  Are  you  not  lost  in  wonder  and  as- 
tonishment when  you  think  of  the  love  which  caused 
this  sacrifice  ?  Oh,  the  infinite  evil  of  sin  which  made 
it  necessary  for  the  Son  of  God  thus  to  suffer,  thus  to 
die  !  Let  us  then  cheerfully  endure  whatever  his  hand 
shall  lay  upon  us,  fearing  nothing  but  the  having  a 
name  to  live  when  we  are  dead,  and  the  possibility  of 
being  deceived  and  having  no  part  in  the  marriage 
supper  of  the  Lamb.  Dear  E.,  who  would  wish  to  have 
all  their  good  things  in  this  life — a  short  and  transitory 
state  which  is  only  given  us  to  prepare  for  another 
which  shall  never  end  ?     A  few  more  days,  months  or 

BIOGRAPHY   OF   MRS.    LYDIA   B.    BACON.  103 

years  and  the  places  wliicli  kno^Y  us  now  shall  know  us 
no  more  foreYer.  Oh,  then  may  we  find  that  our  trials 
haYe  worked  out  for  us  *  a  far  more  exceeding  and 
eternal  weight  of  glory.^ 

"  Often,  dear  E ,  do  I  recall  the  delightful  hours 

passed  with  you  when  together  we  sought  instruction 
from  the  sacred  page,  or  side  hy  side  listened  to  our 
dear  pastor's  exposition  of  the  Messed  word.  Those  are 
seasons  ncYer  to  return,  but  the  tie  which  binds  us  to 
that  people  is  not  easily  broken.  We  haYe  a  small 
Sabbath  school  here,  but  our  church  is  scattered  OYer 
some  distance,  which  makes  it  difficult  for  all  to  attend 
with  punctuality.  Husband  and  I  both  haYe  large 
classes,  and  those  that  are  Yery  interesting.  I  hope  that 
you,  my  young  friend,  will  soon  haYe  health  to  enable 
you  to  serYe  in  this  blessed  institution.  We  are  Yery 
anxious  to  hear  from  you  all,  but  especially  from  Mr. 
B.  I  felt  extremely  sorry  to  hear  that  he  was  unable 
to  preach  for  you  any  longer.  But  you  say  rightly, 
'  Some  are  called  to  worh,  and  others  to  suffer,^  and  true 
religion  is  to  perform  the  work  or  endure  the  suffering, 
as  God  shall  appoint.  I  cannot  but  belie yo  that  if  our 
Uycs  are  spared  y'o  shall  meet  again  on  earth ;  but  if 
this  pleasure  shall  be  denied  us,  most  sincerely  do  I 
join  Y^th  you  in  the  hope  and  prayer  that  we  may  meet 
where  parting  is  no  more.  There,  disrobed  of  sin,  and 
freed  from  pain,  Y'e  shall  ncYcr  be  Y'eary  in  the  service 
of  our  Kedeemer. 

-■'i  '.'i  -.^$  i,'l  -.Jf  '.{l 

"  We  are  boarding  a  few  weeks  in  the  family  of  my 

sister  J ,   which  is  quite  a  relief  while  the  warm 

weather  lasts,  and  2;iYes  me  more  time  to  devote  to  such 


pursuits  as  are  congenial  to  my  taste.  It  is  very  de- 
lightful also  to  enjoy  my  sister's  society  after  being  so 
long  separated.  All  I  fear  is  that  my  rehellious  heart 
will  not  feel  gratitude  in  any  degree  commensurate 
with  the  favors  I  am  constantly  receiving.  The  season 
has  been  very  delightful  this  summer.  I  presume  your 
garden  is  in  its  gayest  bloom.  Keceive  this  letter 
warm  from  the  heart  of  one  who  will  ever  think  of  you 
with  the  liveliest  affection.  With  many  kisses  for  the 
little  darlings,  and  much  prayer  for  your  health  and 
growth  in  grace,  I  am,  as  ever, 

"  Your  aficctionate  and  sympathizing  friend, 

"  Lydia  Bacon.'' 

To  Mrs.  B ,  of  Sackett's  Harbor : 

"  Sandzvich,  Sept  10th,  1830. 
"  How  delightful  would  it  be  could  I  pass  the  day 
with  my  dear  Harriet  and  her  interesting  family,  and 
hold  sweet  converse  with  them  as  in  times  past.  I  can 
almost  imagine  myself  in  dear  grandmother's  room 
surrounded  by  you  all,  each  eager  to  impart  some  infor- 
mation of  what  has  transpired  since  last  we  met.  But 
alas,  this  cannot  be  ;  many,  many  miles  intervene  and 
exclude  this  pleasing  intercourse.  My  only  alternative 
is  that  of  writing,  and  although  not  so  gratifying  as  a 
personal  interview  would  be,  it  must  suflSce  for  the 
present.  It  is  some  time  since  we  heard  from  the  Har- 
bor, yet  our  interest  in  your  village  is  not  abated.  We 
beg  you  to  write  soon  and  give  us  an  account  of  all  that 
is  occurrinjx. 

"  The  summer  has  passed  rapidly  and  pleasantly  with 

BIOGRAPHY   OF  MRS.    LYDIA   B.    BACON.  105 

US,  every  moment  being  filled  with  something  useful  or 
interesting.  Mj  husband  and  self  have  just  returned 
from  a  visit  to  Boston,  the  first  which  we  have  made 
since  our  location  here.  He  tarried  a  few  days  and 
then  left  me  to  finish  my  visit,  which  was  principally  to 
his  parents  at  Xewton.  For  we  should  not  have  left 
this  beautiful  village  in  the  summer  for  a  visit  to  a  city. 
While  at  Boston  we  were  gratified  in  visiting  some  of 
the  schools,  it  being  the  season  for  examination.  It 
was  very  interesting  to  me  to  witness  the  improvements 
in  the  modes  of  instruction,  as  well  as  the  proficiency  of 
the  scholars.  I  was  charmed  with  the  sight  of  so  many 
lovely  youth,  but  mused  much  upon  the  remarks  made 
a  few  Sabbaths  since  by  a  young  theological  student, 
who  is  superintendent  of  the  Sabbath  school  at  Newton. 
He  was  speaking  of  the  difi*erence  seen  between  those 
who  were  educated  together  as  they  advanced  in  life. 
*  I  went  to  school,'  said  he,  '  with  a  bright  lad  who  sat 
on  the  same  bench  with  me,  pursued  the  same  studies, 
gamboled  on  the  same  green.  But  my  schoolmate,  as 
he  entered  manhood,  chose  the  paths  of  vice,  and  going 
from  one  degree  of  crime  to  another  has  now  to  expiate 
the  guilt  of  murder  upon  the  gallows.'  This  was 
Knapp,  the  instigator  of  the  atrocious  murder  in  Salem  ! 
"  After  my  husband  returned  to  Sandwich,  (leaving 
me  in  Boston,)  I  had  a  very  unexpected  pleasure.  What 
do  you  think  it  was  ?  /  was  told  that  a  lady  from 
Sackett^s  Harbor  wished  to  see  me.  I  flew  to  meet  her> 
not  knowing  who  it  could  be,  my  heart  almost  ready  to 
burst  with  surprise  and  delight.     Who  should  I  embrace 

but  dear  Susan  G ?     I  had  thought  much  of  her 

this  summer,  and  wished  much  to  see  her,  but  little 


frucsscd  I  should  so  soon  be  oTatified.  She  had  come  to 
Boston  with  a  party  Avho  were  going  to  Vermont,  she 
intending  to  visit  me  at  Sandwich  while  they  continued 
their  journey  to  Vt.  My  visit  at  Boston  was  nearly 
through,  and  last  Thursday  we  left  for  Sandwich 
together,  accompanied  by  my  dear  mother.  It  is  a 
beautiful  ride  from  Boston  hither.  We  stopped  at 
Plymouth  over  night,  and  Susan  and  I  slept  together. 
The  last  time  that  we  had  this  privilege  was  in  Madison 
harracJcs  I  now  we  were  in  the  land  of  our  forefathers. 
There  we  had  often  participated  in  many  events 
important  and  interesting  to  us  ;  here  we  visited  the 
rock  on  which  our  ancestors  first  stept  their  foot,  and 
together  ascended  the  hill  which  is  converted  into  a  re- 
pository for  the  dead.  We  stept  lightly  over  the  ashes 
of  the  descendants  of  those  who,  under  Providence,  be- 
queathed to  us  so  fair  a  heritage.  From  the  summit  of 
the  hill  we  had  an  extensive  view  of  the  harbor  and 
surrounding  country.  Susan  and  myself  improved 
every  spare  moment  in  conversation  about  dear  Sackett's 
Harbor  friends.  I  cannot  find  words  to  express  to  yon 
how  much  we  enjoyed  her  visit.     Eemember  us  to  all 

who  inquire.     Give  my  love  to  Mr ;  compliments  is 

too  cold  a  term  for  such  friends  as  we  have  been,  to  use. 
Say  to  dear  little  Hattie  that  I  should  write  her  a  few 
lines  had  I  room.     I  hope  she  is  a  good  girl.     Tell  her 

Uncle  B joins  with  auntie  in  love  and  kisses  to  our 

darling.  With  most  affectionate  regard  for  yourself 
and  all  the  family,  (not  forgetting  grandmother,)  I  re- 
main, dear  Harriet, 

"  Yours  in  Christian  bonds, 

"  Lydia  Bacon." 

BIOGRAPHY   OF   MRS.    LYDIA   B.    BACON.  107 

The  next  is  a  most  tender  and  consoling  letter  to  the 
young  friend  whom  she  had  previously  addressed,  and 
whose  illness  still  continued,  causino;  her  much  sufferino- 
and  mental  depression. 

"  Sandwich,  Feh.  15,  1831. 
"  From  your  long  silence,  my  beloved  Elizabeth,  I  am 
led  to  conclude  that  you  are  still  much  indisposed,  for  I 
know  that  your  perseverance  and  resolution  would 
enable  you  to  surmount  difficulties  if  it  were  possible. 
I  have  thought  much  of  you,  my  precious  child,  and 
fancied  I  could  see  you  in  your  room  bearing  with 
meek  submission  that  dreadful  pain  in  your  head  which 
your  heavenly  Father  sees  fit  to  afflict  you  with.  Oh, 
that  you  may  be  enabled  to  feel  that  his  purposes  are 
wise,  and  to  say,  '  Thy  will,  not  mine,  be  done.'  May 
that  youthful  heart  which  you  have  long  since  surren- 
dered to  your  Saviour  be  filled  with  'joy  and  peace  in 
believing.'  May  you  have  that  peace  which  the  world 
cannot  give  or  take  away.  You  have  been  signally 
favored  at  the  Harbor  in  the  outpouring  of  the  holy 
spirit.  Not  only  has  your  heart  been  gladdened  by 
seeing  the  dear  youth  of  the  Sabbath  school  giving 
their  hearts  to  Christ ;  but  your  own  dear  little  sister 
Mary  has  been  a  recipient  of  tliis  blessing.  How  de- 
lightful and  encouraging  must  this  have  been  !  But 
where  are  the  rest  of  your  dear  ones  ?  Is  she  the  only 
one  who  will  come  into  the  kingdom  ?  Where  is  dear 
S.  G.  H.  and  L.?  Do  they  still  prefer  the  broad  road  ? 
Oh,  that  you  may  be  enabled  to  tell  me  in  your  next 
that  they  too  have  chosen  that  good  part  which  can 
never  be  taken  away  for  them. 

"  If  your  head  will  not  suffer  you  to  write  me,  do 


depute  Sophia  or  Mary  to  write  for  you.  I  so  long  to 
hear  from  your  dear  family,  whose  kindness  has 
entwined  them  with  every  fibre  of  my  heart.  How 
sweet  is  the  recollection  of  the  many  hours  spent  in 
your  society.  How  speedily  did  the  moments  fly  when 
in  your  domestic  circle  I  was  so  cordially  admitted.  My 
heart  delights  to  linger  in  fond  remembrances  of  those 
interesting  scenes  so  long  gone  by.  And  now,  dear 
girl,  I  would  ask  how  you  feel  under  this  trying  dis- 
pensation of  Providence  in  regard  to  your  health  ?  Do 
you  feel  resigned  to  do  or  suffer  whatever  your  heaven- 
ly Father  shall  see  fit  to  lay  upon  you,  remembering 
that  *  as  a  father  pitieth  his  children,  so  the  Lord  pitieth 
them  that  fear  him '  ?  Oh,  that  you  may  be  enabled  to 
lie  at  the  foot  of  the  cross,  and  draw  sweet  consolation 
from  the  promise  '  as  thy  day  is  so  shall  thy  strength 
be.'  ]\Iay  we  all  be  ripening  for  a  home  in  those  blest 
mansions  which  our  Saviour  has  gone  to  prepare  for 
those  that  love  him. 

"  We  and  our  friends  here  are  all  well  at  present, 
my  dear  husband  particularly  so ;  he  joins  me  in  kind 
remembrances  to  your  parents,  grandmother  and  the 
children.  Accept  my  best  wishes  for  your  present  and 
future  happiness. 

"  I  remain  ycur  grateful  and  affectionate, 

"  Lydia  Bacon.'' 

Anotlicr  to  the  same  friend,  dated 

''  Sandwich,  Aug.  30,  1831. 
"Accept   my   grateful   thanks,    my   beloved   young 
friend,  for  your  highly  interesting  favor  of  April  23d. 

BIOGRAPHY   OF   MRS.   LYDIA   B.    BACON.  109 

1  was  indeed  rejoiced  at  seeing  your  well-known  hand 
once  more,  for  it  conveyed  to  me  the  pleasing  intelli- 
gence that  you  were  yet  spared.  Spared  not  onl}"  to 
your  friends,  but  to  the  cause  of  the  best  of  Masters — 
that  Master  to  whom  you,  my  beloved  child,  have  con- 
secrated the  morning  of  your  life.  Oh,  may  life  and 
health  be  continued  to  you,  and  strength  be  imparted 
from  on  high  to  enable  you  to  pursue  the  narrow  path 
that  leads  to  joys  which  '  eye  hath  not  seen  nor  ear 
heard,  neither  hath  it  entered  into  the  heart  of  man  to 

''  Think  me  not  neglectful,  my  sweet  Elizabeth,  that 
I  have  not  replied  to  your  precious  letter  until  the 
present  time.  This  would  not  be  just,  for  amidst  the 
numerous  cares  and  interests  attendant  upon  my  new 
situation  which  have  made  m}^  hands  too  full  to  write, 
my  heart  has  been  often  with  you.  Imagination,  ever 
busy,  has  brought  your  image  and  that  of  your  dear 
family  often  before  me,  and  recalled  those  seasons  of 
social  Christian  intercourse  Avliich  are  blended  with  all 
my  retrospections  of  life  spent  at  Sackett's  Harbor.  It 
grieved  us  to  hear  of  a  decline  in  religion  in  your 
church.  I  hope  in  your  next  you  will  be  able  to  report 
'  better  things  '  even  '  things  that  accompany  salvation.' 
I  presume  you  notice  in  the  papers  accounts  of  a  won- 
derful work  of  grace  in  almost  all  parts  of  our  beloved 
country.  It  is  truly  astonishing.  The  revival  still 
progresses  in  Boston.  We  have  just  returned  from 
thence,  and  while  there  were  delighted  with  the  atten- 
tion given  '  to  the  one  thing  needful '  in  that  gay  and 
populous  city.  Great  numbers  of  the  youth  of  both 
sexes  have  joined  the  standard  of  the  Lord  among  all 

110  BIOGRAPHY   OF   MRS.    LYDIA   B.    BACON. 

the  Orthodox  denominations.  Mr.  Finney  is  to  be  in 
Boston  in  the  course  of  a  fortnight.  He  is  now  at 
Newport,  R.  I.,  where  there  is  an  astonishing  work  of 
grace  in  2)rogress,  The  good  ministers  of  Boston  were 
at  first  a  little  fearful  of  having  Mr.  E.  to  labor  among 

them ;   but  Mr.    AY has   been   to  hear  him  and 

returned  with  a  good  report,  and  they  have  invited  him 
to  come.     Mr.  F.  has  accepted  the  invitation,  (as  I  un- 
derstand,) and  will  be  with  them  at  the  time  I  mentioned. 
''  We  received  a  paper  from  Sackett's  Harbor  a  day 

or  two  since,  announcing  the  death  of  Mr.  E -.     We 

feel  that  this  must  be  a  great  loss,  not  only  to  his 
family,  but  to  the  community  at  large.  As  a  husband 
and  father,  a  teacher  of  youth  and  a  Christian,  his  de- 
cease will  be  severely  felt.  I  trust  that  his  dear  wdfe 
has  that  support  from  above  which  alone  can  sustain 
lier  under  this  trying  dispensation.  The  widow  and 
fatherless  have  many  precious  promises  in  the  word  of 
God ;  I  hope  that  she  and  her  children  will  be  enabled 
to  lay  hold  of  them  and  put  all  their  confidence  in  Him 
whose  word  is  everlasting  truth.  We  sympathize  with 
them  most  tenderly.  No  doubt  your  family  will 
sincerely  lament  the  loss  of  this  valuable  member  of 
society.  You,  as  well  as  your  brothers  and  sisters  have 
received  the  first  lessons  of  your  education  from  him. 
Of  course  many  tender  recollections  are  associated  with 
this  assiduous  teacher  and  friend  who  is  now  no  more. 
But  blessed  be  God  we  mourn  not  as  those  wdio  have  no 
hope.  Though  he  was  tardy  in  embracing  the  doctrines 
of  the  gospel,  yet  we  hope  he  will  not  be  least  in  the 
kingdom  of  Heaven.  This  blessed  gospel,  which  so 
many  reject,  shed  a  light  and  peace  around  his  dying 


bed.  Let  the  unbeliever  scoff;  there  is  ^  joy  and  love- 
liness attending  the  death  of  a  chikl  of  God  which  no 
language  can  describe. 

"  It  gives  me  much  satisfaction,  my  dear  E.,  to  see 
the  disposition  with  which  you  view  the  dealings  of 
Providence  towards  yourself  You  have  much  to  endear 
you  to  life  ;  but  without  grace  these  very  blessings 
would  have  much  increased  your  trials  under  the  indis- 
position you  have  had  to  endure.  May  you  come  forth 
from  the  furnace  as  gold  doubly  refined,  and  be  able  to 
say,  '  it  is  good  for  me  that  I  have  been  afflicted.' 

"  My  mother  has  all  her  children  with  her  at  present, 
which  has  not  been  the  case  before  in  many,  many  years. 
She  enjoys  good  health  for  her  age,  and  unites  with  my 
husband  and  self  in  kindest  regards  to  you  and  to  all. 
Write  soon,  my  beloved  girl,  to  your  ever  affectionate, 

"  Lydia  Bacon." 

"  To  Mrs.  B of  Sackett's  Harbor. 

"  Sandivich,  Oct  20,  1831. 
"  My  very  dear  Harriet: — Your  highly  interesting, 
but  sombre  letter  of  Oct.  6th,  has  produced  so  many 
emotions  in  my  breast,  that  I  know  not  what  to  say  or 
where  to  commence.  Although  your  silence  had  been 
protracted  beyond  what  I  expected  or  wished,  yet  I 
could  not  but  believe  that  you  had  good  reasons  for  it. 
My  confidence  in  your  friendship  was  too  strong  to  be 
shaken,  and  I  could  not  bring  myself  to  think  that 
time  or  distance  had  diminished  it.  I  have  felt  that 
you  had  much  to  do  at  Sackett's,  and  my  imperfect 
petitions  were  often  arising  to  a  throne  of  mercy  on 


your  bclialf,  that  grace  niiglit  bo  imparted  equal  to 
your  necessities. 

"  What   a  scene   you  must   have  witnessed   at   the 

E s  ?     My  heart  bleeds  when  I  think  of  it.     What 

strength,  what  resolution,  what  a  high  sense  of  duty, 
what  trust  in  God  must  have  been  necessary  to  have 
carried  you  through  those  kind  but  sad  offices  1  Poor 
Charlotte  !  ho^^  forlorn,  how  disconsolate  must  she  now 
feel,  for  she  has  not  yet  learned  to  put  her  trust  in  the 
Father  of  the  fatherless.  Oh,  that  she  may  be  led  to 
Him  who  will  support,  guide,  and  protect  all  who  rely 
upon  him.  May  she  hear  his  gracious  voice,  saying, 
'  Call  upon  me  in  the  day  of  trouble.  I  will  deliver 
thee,  and  thou  shalt  glorify  me.'  Her  mind  has  been 
well  instructed  in  the  truths  of  the  gospel ;  my  fervent 
prayer  is  that  her  heart  may  feel  its  blessed  influences. 
Dear  child,  give  my  kindest  remembrances  to  her  and 
to  them  all.  Tell  them  I  sincerely  sympathize  with 
them,  and  hope  that  they  will  turn  to  the  Lord  in  this 
day  of  their  calamity.  Then  will  they  have  a  friend 
indeed,  one  into  whose  compassionate  heart  they  can 
pour  all  their  sorrows,  and  find  the  consolation  and 
support  which  they  need.  The  pilgrimage  of  their  dear 
parents  has  not  been  long  but  wearisome,  yet  now  we 
trust  they  have  entered  into  that  '  rest  which  remaineth 
for  the  people  of  God.'  Now  they  can  look  back  upon 
the  path  they  have  trod  and  see  that  it  was  marked 
out  by  unerring  wisdom.  Now  disease  has  no  longer 
power  over  their  bodies,  nor  sin  dominion  over  their 
souls,  but,  washed  in  the  blood  shed  upon  Calvary,  their 
robes  are  made  white,  and  their  harps  and  voices  tuned 
to  the  praises  of  redeeming  love.     Dear  Lucy,  too,  is 


gone.  What  a  train  of  reflections  does  the  tliouglit  of 
her  departure  create  in  my  mind.  Her  whole  life  rises 
in  retrospective  view  before  me,  and  the  many  inter- 
esting scenes  in  which  I  mingled  with  her  are  especially 
prominent.  Like  a  dream,  they  fled,  but  1  can  hardly 
realize  that  she  is  a  disembodied  spirit.  Her  pilgrim- 
age, too,  was  short,  and  owing  to  infirmities  of  the  body, 
from  which  she  was  seldom  exempt,  often  wearisome. 
You  say  nothing  special  respecting  her  exit,  but  I  trust 
that  she  was  prepared  to  meet  her  God,  and  that  her 
end  was  peace. 

"  Your  description  of  the  state  of  the  church  is  too, 
too  painful ;  your  spirit  must  be  grieved  within  you. 
Oh,  that  the  great  head  of  the  church  would  send  his 
Holy  Spirit  into  your  midst  to  rectify  the  sins  and  errors 
that  abound  !  God  is  doing  great  things  at  the  pres- 
ent time  in  his  American  Israel ;  every  breeze  comes 
laden  with  some  delightful  news  of  the  Gospel's  tri- 
umph. Let  us  then  hope  better  things  for  poor  Sack- 
ett's,  even  that  the  Sun  of  Righteousness  may  arise 
there  with  healing  in  his  beams,  and  chase  away  the 
darkness  of  spiritual  night. 

*'  We  are  very  glad  to  hear  that  Mr.  Boyd's  health  is 
better,  and  hope  that  he  may  be  entirely  restored,  for 
we  think  him  calculated  to  be  very  usefuL  Do  remem- 
ber us  to  him  when  you  see  him.      Dear  Elizabeth 

C ,  with  the  rest  of  that  estimable  family,  holds  a 

large  place  in  our  hearts.  She  favors  me  with  a  prec- 
ious letter  occasionally ;  please  say  to  her  that  I  have 
answered  her  last,  and  that  as  soon  as  her  health 
permits,  I  shall  hope  to  hear  from  her  again.  My 


mother  is  well,  and  very  grateful  for  your  kind  remem- 
l)rance  of  lier.  Tell  your  good  husband  if  he  will  hring 
you  to  see  us  it  will  afford  us  inexpressible  pleasure. 
Adieu,  my  beloved  in  the  Lord. 

"  Yours  ever, 

"Lydia  Bacon." 

''  To  Miss  Elizabeth  C ,  referred  to  at  the  close 

of  the  last  letter. 

"  Sandwich,  Feb,  15,  1832. 

"  It  is  impossible,  my  precious  young  friend,  to 
describe  the  thrill  which  comes  over  me  upon  the  pe- 
rusal of  your  interesting  letters.  I  imagine  myself 
with  you,  I  see  you,  hear  you  converse,  am  seated  by 
your  side  in  the  Bible  class,  the  conference  meeting,  or 
the  sanctuary,  and  all  the  interesting  situations  in 
which  we  were  so  frequently  engaged  together  rise  in 
review  before  me.  As  I  muse,  the  tears  flow  in  rapid 
succession,  but  not  altogether  tears  of  regret.  No ; 
that  would  be  ungrateful  to  him  who  permitted  me  to 
tarry  so  long  with  you,  and  has  removed  me  hither  that 
I  might  enjoy  the  society  of  my  dear  relatives. 

"  I  should  have  answered  your  letter  sooner  but  have 
been  prevented  by  the  state  of  my  health.  I  have  had 
the  prevailing  influenza,  and  it  has  affected  my  lungs 
considerably.  What  the  end  will  be  I  know  not.  I 
have  not  been  well  a  moment  since  the  second  week  in 
December,  though  not  confined  to  the  house  except  in 
bad  weather.  I  have  now  a  large  blister  on  my 
throat,  and  hope  it  will  be  efficacious  in  removing  the 
difficulty.     I  have  some  cough,  and  find  it  quite  diflft- 


cult  to  converse  much.  I  can  more  feelingly  sympa- 
thize with  you,  my  beloved  child,  than  when  I  was  well. 
Bemember  me,  dear  E.,  at  a  throne  of  grace,  and  pray 
that  strength  may  be  given  me  to  bear  all  my  heav- 
enly Father's  will.  Ah,  we  know  not  how  soon  (if  we 
are  indeed  God's  children,)  we  shall  be  called  to  sing 
the  praises  of  redeeming  love  around  his  throne.  Time 
appears  very  short  to  me — eternity  very  near.  But 
with  the  garment  of  Christ's  righteousness  about  me, 
death  ivill  he  welcome,  come  when  it  may.  Oh,  may  our 
love  to  Christ  inspire  us  both  with  that  holy  feeling 
which  led  an  apostle  to  exclaim,  '  For  me  to  die  is 
gain.'  I  heard  a  child  of  God,  when  dying,  say,  '  He 
considered  death  one  of  the  greatest  blessings,  for  it 
was  his  passport  to  his  Saviour.' 

*'  My  heart  was  cheered  with  the  sweet  state  of  your 
mind  in  view  of  death  apparently  so  near.  But  you 
were  spared  and  permitted  to  attend  the  death-bed  of 
your  early  instructor.  How  affecting  to  your  feelings, 
how  exciting  to  your  sympathies  must  this  have  been. 
You  accompanied  your  Christian  brother  to  the  confines 
of  eternity,  but  there  you  had  to  leave  him.  No 
earthly  friend  can  go  with  us  through  the  dark  valley. 
But  the  Friend,  *  who  sticketh  closer  than  a  brother '  is 
nigh,  to  take  us  by  the  hand,  and  calm  the  waves  that 
the  passage  over  Jordan  shall  not  overwhelm  us.  How 
dreadful  the  condition  of  those  who  have  not  such  a 
friend  in  their  hour  of  extremest  need.  We  rejoice  to 
hear  that  you  have  a  good  minister,  and  that  the  pros- 
pects of  the  church  are  brighter.     And  is  our  lovely 

S joined  to  the  people  of  God?     This  is  blessed 

news  indeed.     Tell  her  that  I  am  happy  to  hear  it,  and 

116  BIOGRAPHY   OF  MRS.    LTDIA   B.   BAC02T. 

that  I  trust  she  will  be  a  firm,  active  Christian,  taking 
up  her  cross  in  Tier  youth.  I  presume  she  has  a  class  in 
the  Sabhath  school.  H ,  I  always  felt  much  inter- 
ested in,  and  rejoice  to  know  that  she  too  has  chosen 
the  Saviour  as  her  portion.  Well  do  I  remember  the 
first  time  she  came  to  Sabbath  schooL  She  was  in  my 
own  class,  and  though  quite  ignorant  of  religious  truth, 
was  very  desirous  of  acquiring  knowledge,  and  seemed 
to  listen  with  much  attention  to  the  instruction  which  I 

tried  to  impart.       That  school,  dear  E ,  lies  very 

near  my  heart.  Do  give  my  love  to  the  dear  teachers 
and  the  chiklren  who  remember  me — I  shall  never  for- 
get them.  It  must  have  been  delightful  to  you  to  have 
dear  brother  and  sister  Gallao^her  once  more  at  Sack- 
ett's.  Were  not  the  scholars  overjoyed  to  see  him  ? 
We  had  a  delightful  interview  with  her  two  summers 
since — I  believe  I  told  you  of  it.  Perhaps  it  is  the  last 
interview  we  shall  ever  have  this  side  eternity.  Do 
remember  husband  and  self  to  her  and  her  father's 
family  most  affectionately.  Our  dear  father  Bacon 
departed  this  life  week  before  Thanksgiving,  in  his 
71st  year.  He  died  in  the  full  enjoyment  of  that  faith 
which  is  '  the  evidence  of  things  not  seen.'  We  see 
some  engagedness  in  religion  here,  and  several  have 

experienced  a  hopeful  change.     My  brother  W 's 

wife  is  among  the  number.  Dear  Elizabeth,  write  me 
again  soon,  and  believe  me  as  ever,  fondly  yours, 

"  L.  B.  Bacox." 

To  Mrs.  B ,  of  Sackett's  Harbor. 

"It  is  indeed  a  great  privilege,  my  beloved  Harriet, 

BIOGRAPHY   OF   MRS.    LYDIA   B.    BACON.  117 

to  be  enabled  to  communicate  our  feelings  to  each  other 
in  any  way.  But  wbcn  I  take  my  pen  so  many  thougbts 
rusli  into  my  mind  wbicb  it  would  be  inexpedient  to 
commit  to  paper,  that  I  would  fain  exchange  this  mode 
for  the  more  delightful  one  of  personal  conversation. 
Oh,  how  many  hours  have  we  spent  thus,  while  our 
hands  plied  the  busy  needle.  The  instruction  which  I 
often  thus  derived,  and  the  consolation  which  I  received 
are  indelibly  impressed  upon  my  mind.  Sure  I  am 
that  your  place  will  never  be  supplied  to  me.  I  have 
many  kind  friends  here,  hut  no  sister  Harriet.  Your 
last  letter  was  full  of  interesting  matter,  and  I  thank 
you  for  answering  my  numerous  questions. 

u  We  rejoice  to  hear  that  Mrs.  W is  blessed  in 

her  child.  Oh,  that  she  may  indeed  prove  a  prop  to  her 
declining  age.  It  seems  hardly  credible  that  you  should 
not  have  seen  her  for  sixteen  months  ;  don't  you  ever  go 

to  W ?     I  am  not  reconciled  to  your  being  so  much 

of  a  '  Martha '  as  not  to  have  visited  that  beautiful 
village  in  all  that  time :  especially  as  (having  a 
carriage  of  your  own,)  you  have  the  means  so  abundant- 
ly at  your  command.  I  am  sorry  to  hear  that  your 
health  is  not  good.  I  can  heartily  sympathize  with 
you,  for  my  own  health  has  been  miserable  for  some 
time  past.  I  have  been  obliged  to  be  careful  of  myself, 
and  have  been  often  deprived  of  the  privilege  of  at- 
tending evening  meetings,  and  occasionally  the  services 
of  the  Sabbath.  But  I  would  not  murmur  or  complain, 
for  oh,  how  long,  how  greatly  have  I  been  favored  in 
this  respect.  How  often  have  my  willing  feet  walked 
with  you,  my  dear  Harriet,  to  the  house  of  God,  my 

118  BIOGRAPHY   OF   MRS.    LYDIA   B.    BACON. 

heart  filled  with  joy  at  the  thought  of  salvation  through 
a  crucified  Eedeemcr.  How  often  have  I  taken  my 
place  in  that  Sahhath  school  with  feelings  not  to  be 
described  !  That  school,  those  children  may  forget  me, 
hut  never,  no  never  shall  I  forget  them.  Our  church  and 
congregation  here  have  at  length  received  the  blessing 
for  which  we  have  so  long  prayed.  In  February  we 
had  a  '  protracted  meeting/  preceded  by  a  church  fast, 
and  this  special  efibrt  has  been  owned  and  blessed  of 
God,  as  we  humbly  trust.  About  sixty  in  our  society 
give  evidence  of  a  change  of  heart,  and  the  work  is 
still  progressing.  The  feeling  has  been  deep,  solemn 
and  pungent,  and  embraces  both  the  young  and  middle 
aged,  including  several  heads  of  families.  Our  Sabbath 
school  shares  largely  in  this  work  of  grace.  Oh,  it  is  a 
sweet  and  cheering  sight  to  see  the  love  of  Christ 
reflected  in  the  countenances  of  these  lambs  of  the 
flock.  One  of  my  scholars,  a  colored  girl  about  sixteen 
years  old,  is  a  hopeful  subject  of  grace.  When  she 
told  me,  (to  repeat  her  own  expression,)  that  *  her  heart 
loved  Jesus,^  I  could  have  hugged  her,  black  as  she 
was.  She  is  a  dear  child,  and  seems  like  '  a  new 
creature.'  Others  in  my  class  are  thoughtful.  Help 
me,  dear  friend,  to  praise  Him  from  whom  all  blessings 
flow  that  I  have  lived  to  see  a  revival  in  a  Sahhath  school, 
a  thing  I  so  much  desired  to  see  at  Sackett's,  but  was 
not  permitted.  Pray  for  us,  that  this  precious  work 
may  be  continued  till  all  shall  acknowledge  Christ  as 
their  Saviour. 

''  We  are  very  happy  to  hear  that  you  have  such  an 
agreeable  accession  to  your  society  as  Mrs.  Adams  and 
her  mother,  and  Mrs.  M.     They  have  it  in  their  power 

BIOGRAPHY   OF   MRS.    LYDIA   B.    BACON.  119 

to  be  very  useful,  especially  as  they  arc  members  of  the 
household  of  faith.  Kemember  me  most  affectionately 
to  them,  and  to  all  inquiring  friends  ;  I  cannot  designate 
all  by  name,  but  you  know  as  well  as  I  can  tell  you. 
It  gives  me  much  pleasure  to  hear  that  S.  S.  has  con- 
cluded to  study  for  the  gospel  ministry.  I  thought  that 
would  be  his  final  decision.  His  mind  was  turned  to 
the  subject  so  early  that  I  felt  the  impression  would  not 
be  very  easily  effaced.  My  husband  says  you  omitted 
two  important  matters  in  your  letter.  You  did  not 
send  him  your  love,  (of  which  he  claims  a  share  as  well 
as  myself,)  and  you  told  us  nothing  about  dear  little 
Harriet.  I  hope  you  will  make  amends  in  your  next. 
We  were  very  happy  to  hear  of  the  local  improvements 
in  the  Harbor,  and  think  the  value  of  property  will  be 
much  increased.  Eemember  us  most  kindly  to  dear 
grandmother  and  the  rest,  and  believe  me 

'^  Yours  in  Christian  bonds, 
"  Lydia  Bacon.'' 

.    To  Mrs.  C ,  at  Sackett's  Harbor. 

''  I  avail  myself  of  the  first  real  leisure  moment 
since  the  receipt  of  your  very  interesting  letter  to  give 
you  evidence  of  my  continued  affection  by  replying  to 
it.  It  rejoiced  our  hearts  to  hear  of  your  welfare,  and 
to  know  that  your  beloved  husband  is  better.  Truly, 
health  is  one  of  our  greatest  earthly  blessings  ;  but  like 
other  mercies  not  sufficiently  prized  until  it  is  with- 
drawn.    "We  rejoice  with  you  that  your  dear  T has 

been  made  a  recipient  of  divine  grace.     Oh,  that  he 
may  become   a  burning  and  shining  light,  a  faithful 


laborer  in  liis  Master's  vineyard,  and  may  his  dear 
brothers  be  partakers  of  the  like  blessing.  I  am  more 
than  ever  convinced  of  the  value  of  early  instruction  in 
religious  things.  We  see  evidence  of  its  worth  at  the 
present  day  in  the  conversion  of  very  young  children. 
'  Out  of  the  mouth  of  babes  and  sucklings '  God  is  per- 
fecting '  praise.'  We  hope  to  hear  soon  that  there  is  a 
better  state  of  things  at  the  Harbor.  When  will  the 
blessed  Jesus  bo  all  and  in  all  to  those  v»'ho  profess 
to  love  him?  How  long-suffering,  how  full  of  com- 
passion and  goodness  is  he  toward  the  sons  of  men. 
What  mercy  has  he  manifested  towards  this  nation 
during  the  past  year,  in  refreshing  so  many  of  his 
churches  with  his  divine  presence,  and  bringing  such 
multitudes  of  sinners  to  bow  to  a  Saviour's  feet.  And 
now  he  is  abroad  in  the  earth  in  judgment:  the  dread- 
ful cholera  is  slaying  its  thousands,  and  we  know  not 
where  or  when  it  will  stop.  How  many  has  it  sum- 
moned, (as  it  were,)  in  a  moment  to  the  tribunal  of 
their  Judge.  How  shocking  the  thought  that  so  many 
immortals  have  been  ushered  unprepared  into  eternity. 
Will  it  not  bring  the  thoughtless  to  consideration  and  a 
preparation  to  meet  God  in  peace. 

''Yesterday,  by  appointment  of  our  Governor,  the 
people  of  this  State  observed  a  fast,  that  if  possible,  by 
humiliation  and  prayer,  this  dreadful  calamity  which 
threatens  us  may,  by  divine  mercy,  be  averted.  Other 
States  have  done,  or  vrill  do,  the  same.  Oh,  that 
prayer  may  ascend  from  sincere  and  contrite  hearts, 
and,  presented  through  the  mediation  of  him  who  ever 
liveth  to  make  intercession  for  us,  find  acceptance  and 
bring  answers  of  peace.     To  those  who  are  prepared  it 


makes  but  little  difference  liow  tliej  pass  from  this 
world  to  another.  But  how  necessary  that  we,  as  pro- 
fessing Christians,  see  that  our  lamps  are  burning,  that 
we  be  not  thrust  from  the  kingdom  with  that  awful 
sentence,  '  I  know  you  not.' 

**  It  gives  us  much  pleasure  to  hear  that  our  beloved 
Mr.  Boyd  has  recovered  his  health,  and  is  able  to  preac'^ 

at  W .      The  remembrance  of  him  is  very  sweet  to 

us.  May  he  long  enjoy  health  and  happiness.  Happy 
he  will  ever  be  while  engaged  in  his  Master's  cause, 
and  I  know  he  feels  that  nothing  else,  (comparatively 
speaking,)  is  worth  living  for.  I  can  readily  imagine 
that  your  visit  to  TJtica  was  both  profitable  and  useful. 
How  did  you  find  that  dear  sister  of  your  husband,  and 
your  good  father  and  Cornelia  ?  She  was  a  dear  girl ; 
do  remember  me  to  her.  Poor  Lucy  has  sunk  to  an 
early  grave.  I  felt  much  when  I  heard  of  her  death, 
and  still  more  when  I  read  your  letter  giving  a  more 
particular  account  than  I  had  before  received.  Her 
course  was  short  and  toilsome ;  but  I  trust  she  is  now 
where  sorrow  can  never  come.  What  a  memento  to  us 
who  survive  of  the  frailty  of  earthly  joys  is  the  early 
death  of  many  with  whom  we  have  passed  hours  of 
social  converse  and  gone  to  the  house  of  God  in  company. 

''  My  dear  Josiah  sends  a  great  deal  of  love  to  your- 
self and  husband,  and  bids  me  say  you  are  often  in  his 
thoughts,  but  his  time  is  too  much  occupied  for  him  to 
write.  His  hours  of  business  are  from  six  in  the  morn- 
ing to  seven  in  the  evening,  and  the  business  such  as  to 
require  his  constant  presence.  Besides  this  he  has 
duties  in  the  church  and  society  which  must  be  dis- 
charged. We  find  wherever  we  are  that  we  are  not  to 


be  idle,  and  our  desire  is  to  be  useful  as  far  as  our 
limited  abilities  will  permit.  You  know  those  who  have 
but  one  talent  must  not  bury  it  in  the  earth,  or  hide  it 
in  a  napkin. 

"  How  does  the  Sabbath  school  succeed  now  ?  Have 
you  an  interesting  Bible  class  ?  And  how  are  Mrs.  G. 
and  Mrs.  C,  and  the  dear  sisters  of  the  praying  circle  ? 
May  the  presence  of  the  Lord  ever  be  with  them.  We 
are  glad  you  have  so  good  a  pastor ;  may  he  prove  a 
lasting  blessing  !  Though  unknown  personally  to  us, 
we  shall  ever  feel  deeply  interested  in  the  pastor  of 
'  Sackett's  Harbor  Presbyterian  Society.'  With  love  to 
all  your  family,  I  am  your  friend, 

"  Lydia." 

The  following  letter  was  written  to  the  dear  young 

friend  heretofore  addressed  as  Miss  C ,  but  who 

having  happily  united  her  destinies  with  the  Eev.  Mr. 
Boyd,  received  thus  the  congratulations  of  her  faithful 
friend  and  correspondent.  She  will  be  designated  here- 
after in  these  letters  as  Mrs.  E.  C.  B. 

''  Sandwich,  Oct.  27th,  1832. 
"  My  dear  Elizabeth : — Your  interesting  epistle  was 
received  and  perused  as  usual  with  unfeigned  delight. 
It  is  very  kind  in  you  thus  to  contribute  to  my  happi- 
ness, especially  when  you  are  pressed  with  so  many 
cares.  I  should  have  answered  your  letter  ere  this,  but 
unavoidable  duties  prevented  me.  The  pleasant  sum- 
mer has  passed  with  great  rapidity,  and  now  the 
"whistling  winds  and  changing  foliage  of  autumn  are 
heralding  the  approach  of  winter.     This  to  many  is 

BIOGRAPHY   OF  MRS.   LYDIA  B.   BAC0>7.  1T6 

unpleasant,  but  not  to  me.  I  enjoy  all  the  seasons  in 
their  turn,  and  the  many  comforts  wliicli  solace  us  in  the 
inclement  season  are  a  constant  call  upon  our  gratitude 
to  that  good  Being  who  is  the  giver  of  every  good  and 
perfect  gift.  Yet  the  summer  has  many  charms 
peculiar  to  itself.  We  often  think  and  speak  of  your 
beautiful  garden,  and  wish  we  could  see  it  and  its 
beloved  owners.  Our  garden  is  very  good,  but  will  not 
compare  with  yours  for  taste  and  elegance.  Do  you 
cultivate  the  Isabella  grape  ?  This  and  the  Black 
Hamburgh  are  very  hardy,  and  require  very  little  more 
care  than  the  wild  grape.  But  where  am  I  rambling  ? 
''  My  principal  object  in  the  present  communication 
is  to  congratulate  my  beloved  Elizabeth  and  the  dear 
pastor  upon  their  union  with  each  other.  This  I  do, 
dear  friends,  with  the  most  heartfelt  satisfaction,  feeling 
assured  that  a  union  founded  upon  such  princi^^les  as 
yours  must  be  productive  of  mutual  happiness.  May 
Heaven's  choicest  blessings  be  poured  out  upon  you  ! 
May  you  indeed  be  helpmeets  to  each  other  through 
a  long  and  happy  pilgrimage.  You,  my  precious  girl, 
are  now  in  the  situation  which  I  have  always  anticipated 
it  would  be  your  lot  to  fill.  May  you  have  grace  and 
wisdom  given  you .  to  discharge  the  numberless  duties 
new  and  important  which  will  now  devolve  upon  you. 
Be  every  thing,  dear  E.,  which  a  minister's  wife  ought 
to  be.  Thus  will  you  continue  to  sustain  that  character 
which  has  hitherto  contributed  so  essentially  to  the 
happiness  of  your  dear  parents  and  friends.  Great 
have  been  your  advantages  both  natural  and  acquired ; 
the  ten  talents  have  been  committed  to  you  for  improve- 
ment.    Oh,  how  great  is  your  responsibility  !     I  write 

124  BIOGRAPHY  OF  MRS.   LYDIA  B.    BAC05T. 

not  thus,  my  beloved  child,  because  I  think  you  have 
not  duly  appreciated  all  these  considerations  ;  but  they 
force  themselves  upon  me,  my  heart  is  full,  and  I  must 
write  as  I  feel.  You  can  never  know  the  deep  interest 
which  I  have  felt  in  your  welfare  and  future  happiness, 
nor  can  you  realize  the  pleasure  it  now  gives  me  to  see 
you  so  happily  united  to  one  so  worthy  of  you.  It 
must  be  a  mutual  gratification  too  that  you  are  settled 
so  near  your  beloved  parents.  This  will  mitigate  the 
pangs  of  your  removal  from  them.  We  have  always 
been  interested  in  Watertown,  and  shall  feel  that 
interest  increased  now  that  you  are  located  there.  Do 
write  soon  and  inform  us  how  you  are  pleased  with  your 
new  situation,  and  what  there  is  of  interest  in  the 
Church,  Sabbath  school,  Bible  class,  &c.  Every  thing 
which  concerns  you  and  yours  will  always  he  matters  of 
interest  to  us.  It  must  be  very  agreeable  to  Mr.  Boyd 
to  be  in  the  same  village  with  so  estimable  a  man  as 
Mr.  Boardman.  Please  present  our  most  respectful  re- 
membrances to  the  latter  and  to  his  wife. 

"  I  thank  you,  dear  E.,  for  the  intelligence  contained 
in  your  last  respecting  so  many  of  our  young  friends  at 
the  Harbor.  Truly,  it  is  a  time  of '  marrying  and  giving 
in  marriage.^  The  change  to  Elvira  must  be  great  in- 
deed, though  not  unpleasant  to  one  of  so  amiable  a 
disposition.  She  has  been  a  great  pet  with  her  parents, 
and  of  course  will  need  and  require  much  indulgence 
from  her  husband.  This  I  presume  she  will  receive,  as 
I  understand  he  is  a  man  of  fine  temper,  and  has  been 
a  most  attentive  and  affectionate  grandson.  I  love 
Elvira,  and  trust  that  the  many  prayers  off'ered  on  her 
behalf  by  her  dear  departed  mother  will  be  answered 


by  her  becoming  a  clecided  and  influential  Christian. 
Walter  and  Prances  have  every  rational  prospect  of 
happiness.  Having  devoted  themselves  to  Christ  in 
their  youth,  they  will  escape  many  temptations  incident 
to  the  morning  of  life.  Mutually  sharers  of  each 
other's  joys  and  sorrows,  may  they  ascend  the  hill  of 
Zion  with  their  faces  ever  thitherward,  looking  to  their 
Saviour  for  grace  to  help  in  their  every  time  of  need. 
Thus  will  their  lives  pass  sweetly  and  tranquilly,  and 
their  influence  be  happy  on   all  around  them.     Tell 

dear  I  recommend  her  to  devote  fifteen  minutes 

every  day  to  a  contemplation  of  the  blessings  which  she 
enjoys.  My  knowledge  of  her  disposition  and  tempera- 
ment induces  me  to  send  her  such  a  message.  Her 
good  sense  will,  I  trust,  pardon  the  liberty  I  take,  and 
her  Christian  feelings  will  lead  her  to  receive  it  kindly, 
as  coming  from  an  elder  sister  in  Christ,  who  has  the 
advantage  of  some  experience.  Tell  her  I  shall  ever 
feel  deeply  interested  in  her  welfare.  Indeed,  you 
know  not  how  my  heart  yearns  over  the  dear  youth  at 

the  Harbor.     I  learn  that  Charlotte  E has  chosen 

the  good  part.  Oh,  Elizabeth,  how  great  is  my  joy  at 
hearing  of  the  conversion  of  my  Sabbath  school  scholars. 
Our  school  here  is  increasingly  flourishing  and  interest- 
ing. My  dear  husband  and  self  find  our  love  to  the 
lambs  of  the  flock  daily  increasing.  Do  remember  us 
to  all  our  friends  at  Sackett's,  especially  to  your  father's 
family,  and  give  our  kindest  regards  to  your  beloved 

''  Yours  most  affectionately, 

"  LypiA  Bacon." 


To  Mrs.  H.  B. 

*'  Scmdwicl,  Nov.  26t7i,  1832. 

"  Your  good  letter,  my  dear  Harriet,  seemed  to  bring 
your  form  and  face  directly  before  me.  "When  I  read 
it  I  felt  as  if  in  the  very  presence  of  that  dear,  dear 
friend  with  whom  I  have  passed  so  many  happy  hours, 
and  from  whom  I  have  received  so  many  proofs  of 
disinterested  affection.  These  scenes  I  know  can  never 
return,  but  the  recollection  of  them  will  never  be 
obliterated.  How  often  have  we  proffered  our  petitions 
together  to  the  throne  of  grace.  How  often  have  we 
in  concert  endeavored  to  instruct  the  ignorant,  comfort 
the  afflicted  and  reclaim  the  wanderer.  Those  were 
precious  duties,  and  precious  privileges  too.  May  my 
heart  ever  be  filled  with  gratitude  for  the  opportunities 
which  I  had  at  Sackett's  of  doing  good,  and  may  I  be 
humbled  with  the  review  of  my  poor  performance  of 
such  duties  and  obligations.  Dear  Harriet  let  us  be 
faithful  in  fulfilling  every  present  duty  and  persevere 
unto  the  end.  Then,  though  we  should  never  meet 
again  on  earth,  we  may  together  worship  the  Lamb 
around  his  Father's  throne  forever  and  ever. 

"  Dear  sister,  how  does  religion  flourish  in  your  hef.irt 
now?  Does  the  Saviour  appear  more  and  more 
precious  ?  Does  the  world  recede,  and  time  appear  as 
nothing  compared  with  eternity  ?  And  can  you  uot 
sometimes  say,  *  It  is  better  to  depart  and  be  w'th 
Christ  ?'  How  important  that  we  be  always  prepared 
to  die  !  The  judgments  of  the  Lord  are  abroad  in  the 
earth,  and  both  the  righteous  and  the  wicked  are  cut 
off  in  a  moment.  True,  the  places  where  you  and  I 
reside  have  been  hitherto  exempt  from  this  dreadful 

BIOGRAPHY   OF   MRS.    LYDIA   B.    BACON.  127 

scourge,  but  we  know  not  how  long  tliey  will  continue 
so.  If  sin  is  the  procuring  cause  of  this  great  evil, 
surely  Sackett's  and  Sandwich  ought  to  tremble. 

"  Thank  you,  dear  sister,  for  the  interesting  commu- 
nications in  your  last  letter.     I  had  heard  some  of  the 

news  from  our  dear  Elizaheth.     Say  to that  she 

must  make  a  good  tvife.      He  was  one  of  my 

favorite  children,  and  a  great  friend  of  my  husband. 
The   latter   says    'it  would   make   Uncle  Bacon  very 

unhappy  if  his  young  friend  had  not  an  obedient 

wife.'     This  is  one  of  the  cardinal  virtues  in  his  esteem. 

I  should  love  to  visit  them,  and  also  our  beloved  J 

and  E ,  who  are  at  length  happily  united.     May 

their  lives  be  prolonged,  and  they  be  made  abundantly 

useful.     I  have  loved  E ever  since  I  knew  her,  and 

always  felt  that  hers  would  not  be  a  common  lot.  The 
propriety  of  her  behavior,  the  rectitude  of  her  senti- 
ments, and  the  strength  of  her  principles  seemed 
always  far  beyond  her  years.  Now  she  is  placed  by 
Providence  in  a  situation  where  her  example  may  con- 
strain many  others  to  glorify  God.  You,  dear  Harriet, 
are    indeed   full   of  cares.     Some  are  destined   to  be 

Martlias ;  but  as  good  Mr.  B says,  '  it  is  better  to 

wear  out  than  to  rust  out.'  I  am  sorry  that  your  dear 
ao:ed  mother  suffers  so  much.  Her  life  seems  to  be 
prolonged  through  much  suffering.  I  hope  she  is 
making  rapid  attainments  in  the  divine  life.  I  often 
think  of  the  many  precious  female  prayer-meetings 
held  in  her  room ;  it  was  indeed  a  Bethel.  Are  those 
meetings  still  attended  there  ?  Do  remember  me  to  all 
those  dear  sisters,  and  beg  them  not  to  forget  me  in 
their  prayers.     My  dear  mother  sends  her  love  to  you 


and  yours.  She  lias  been  quite  sick  tliis  fall,  so  much 
so  that  we  felt  alarmed  ahout  her  ;  hut  she  has  now 
recovered,  and  is  as  well  as  usual.  I  felt  it  a  great 
privilege  that  she  was  where  I  could  wait  upon  her 
when  sick.  She  is  now  seventy  years  old,  and  enjoys 
hotter  health  than  most  aged  people  do.  ^  *  '■'^'  '-•' 
We  are  glad  to  hear  so  good  an  account  of  our  dear 
little  nariiet  May  she  ever  prove  a  blessing  to  you. 
Tell  her,  as  soon  as  she  learns  to  write,  she  must  send 
us  a  letter.  I  am  sure  she  must  have  a  great  deal  to 
tell  Auntie  Bacon  about  the  birds,  and  trees  and 
flowers,  to  say  nothing  of  the  dolls  and  playthings.  I 
suppose  your  shrubbery  has  grown  wonderfully  since 

I  have  seen  it.     Do  the  apple  trees  which  brother  J 

planted  along  the  fence  bear  yet?  And  how  is  the 
beautiful  tree  which  I  set  out  in  the  cottage  garden 
fronting  the  street  ?  It  was  an  acacia,  and  if  it  lives 
must,  I  think,  be  a  large  tree  now.  My  dear  Josiah 
sends  a  great  deal  of  love  to  his  little  pet  Harriet,  and 
wishes  she  could  dine  with  us  tomorrow,  as  we  expect 
our  little  nephews  and  nieces  to  help  us  keep  Thanks- 
giving.    But  I  must  close  with  much  love  to  you  all. 

*'  From  your  affectionate 
"  Lydia  Bacok'^ 

To  Mrs.  E.  C. 

"  Sandivich,  March  22d,  1833. 
"  Your  affectionate  letter,  my  beloved  friend,  was 
duly  received,  and  its  contents  devoured  with  avidity. 
Could  you  realize  the  pleasure  it  gives  me  to  hear  from 
you,  you  would  not  be  so  sparing  of  your  epistolary 
favors.     The  apparent  depression  of  spirits  under  which 


you  appeared  to  labor  when  you  wrote  has  given  me 
much  uneasiness.  Oh,  that  I  had  wino-s  that  I  could 
fly  to  you  for  a  short  time,  that  we  might,  as  in  days 
gone  by,  impart  our  mutual  joys  and  sorrows.  When 
I  remember  that  in  your  breast  I  ever  found  sympathy, 
I  long  to  bestow  comfort  and  consolation  in  your  trials 
and  sorrows.  We  are  both  of  us  sensitive ;  I  think  you 
are  more  so  than  myself.  Though  much  younger  in 
years  than  I  am,  you  have  had  much  experience  of  this 
workPs  changeableness.  We  have  both  arrived  at  an 
age  that  we  can  calmly  and  rationally  view  things  as 
they  actually  are,  making  all  allowance  for  the  perverse- 
ness  of  our  natures,  which  are  constantly  prepense  to 
eviL  That  same  selfish  ambition  which  made  Eve 
aspire  to  the  wisdom  of  Him  who  made  her  is  too  pre- 
dominant in  her  posterity,  and  is  ever  marring  the 
enjoyment  which  we  might  otherwise  take.  For  we 
have  much  given  us  to  enjoy  even  here,  and  our  very 
troubles  are  calculated  to  give  a  zest  to  our  comforts, 
as  past  deprivations  enhance  subsequent  fullness.  For 
many  years  I  have  felt  as  if  every  blessing  was 
undeserved  by  me,  and  bestowed  as  pure  unmerited 
grace  by  my  heavenly  Father.  So  that  the  bread  tvMch 
I  eat,  and  the  ijure  stream  which  slakes  my  thirst,  cause 
at  times  emotions  of  gratitude  tvholly  indeserihahle.  I 
have  reason  also  to  be  thankful  to  that  kind  Providence 
which  has  permitted  us  to  spend  our  last  days  with  our 
beloved  relatives.  It  adds  much  to  my  dear  mother's 
happiness  to  have  us  near  her.  Here  too  is  a  field  for 
usefulness  where  we  can  live  and  labor  in  a  calm,  peace- 
ful way  which  suits   us  well  after  so  many  changes. 

130         BiOGRArnY  of  mrs.  lydia  b.  bacon. 

You  know  I  am  prone  to  look  on  the  briglit  side  ;  evils 
decrease  and  blessings  brighten  wbcn  I  compare  tbem. 
"  We  heard  of  the  death  of  your  dear  father  Camp, 
and  felt  that  you  had  met  with  a  great  loss.  Well  do 
I  remember  the  last  time  I  saw  him  ;  I  thought  as  I 
took  my  leave  of  him  w^e  should  probably  never  meet 
again.  I  always  thought  him  a  lovely  old  gentleman, 
and  agree  with  you  in  thinking  that  our  loss  is  doubt- 
less his  gain.  Assured  of  this,  why  should  we  mourn 
departed  friends  ?  Oh,  rather  let  us  endeavor  to  be 
prepared  to  meet  them  in  glory.  I  thank  you  for  your 
account  of  Mrs.  Clark.  I  have  never  been  able  to  learn 
before  how  her  mind  was  exercised  in  view  of  death, 
though  I  always  felt  that  she  was  a  true  and  humble 
follower  of  the  Saviour.  I  cannot  help  complaining  of 
you  a  little  for  not  telling  me  more  about  the  friends 
with  whom  I  do  not  correspond,  but  for  whom  I  feel  the 
most  lively  interest.  Dear  Mary  White — has  she 
forgot  her  sister  Lydia  ?  I  often  think  of  the  pleasant 
three  months  we  spent  together.      And   how  is  Mrs. 

Bridge  and  her  dear  little  Ann  ?     How  are  Mrs.  G 

and  Clarissa?  Tell  the  latter  I  still  keep  in  good 
preservation  the  basket  she  gave  me  at  parting,  and  it 
often  reminds  me  of  my  dear  little  Sabbath  scholar. 
Have  you  now  a  class  in  that  school  ?  Who  teaches  the 
class  which  once  was  mine  ?  I  suppose  many  of  my  old 
scholars  have  left,  and  their  places  are  supplied  with 
new  ones.  I  am  still  favored  with  health  and  opportu- 
nity to  teach  a  class,  and  have  a  very  interesting  one. 
We  have  two  Sabbath  schools  here  ;  one  is  held  at  noon 
in  our  meeting-house,  and  another  at  the  close  of  the 
afternoon   service   in   the  Pactory  village.      My  dear 

BIOGRArnY   OF   MRS.    LYDIA   B.    BACON.  131 

husband  is  superintendent  in  the  former  and  a  tcaelier 
in  the  latter.  So  3^ou  see  we  are  not  permitted  to  be 
idle,  although  we  are  removed  from  that  part  of  Zion 
where  we  so  loved  to  labor.  We  have  a  sewing  circle 
on  Tuesday  eve.,  and  a  female  prayer-meeting  on 
Wednesday.  How  I  wish  you  would  come  to  Sandwich. 
The  glass  works  are  well  worth  seeing,  and  it  is 
extremely  pleasant  to  strangers  here  in  June.  To  me 
it  is  pleasant  all  the  year  round,  for  I  dearly  love  the 
country.  Already  the  bleating  of  the  lambs  and  the 
sweet  notes  of  the  birds  remind  us  that  the  winter  is 
passing  away.  But  I  must  close  with  my  husband's 
love  and  mine  to  you  alL 

"  Your  grateful  and  affectionate 
*'  Lydia  Bacox." 

To  Mrs.  H.  B 

''  Sandwich,  March  10,  1834. 
"  Dear  Harriet : — It  always  gives  us  inexpressible 
pleasure  to  hear  from  you  ;  and  having  been  so  long 
without  one  of  your  favors,  I  feared  something  serious 
has  happened  to  you.  Judg;e  then  of  my  pleasure  in 
once  more  beholding  your  well  known  hand.  But  this 
joy  was  greatly  damped  when  I  read  of  your  illnesses 
and  sufferings.  You  have  frequently  been  called  to 
suffer  in  this  way  ;  it  is  the  Lord's  will,  and  who  dare 
'  ask  the  reason  why  ?  '  I  rejoice  to  know  that  during 
this  last  indisposition  you  enjoyed  unusual  peace  of 
mind.  How  good  was  our  heavenly  Father  while  he 
afflicted  your  body  to  pour  consolation  into  your  mind. 
How  easy  to  bear  infirmities  when  sustained  by  that 
Almighty   grace   which  causeth .  *  all    things  to  work 

132  BIOGRAPHY   OF   MRS.    LYDIA   B.    BACON. 

ix)o:etlier  for  o-ood  to  those  wlio  love  God.'  And  how 
blessed  a  thing  it  is  that  we  can  glorify  him  hj  suffering 
his  will  as  truly  as  by  active  labors.  May  we,  dear 
sister,  be  ever  ready  and  willing  to  glorify  him  in  just 
the  way  he  shall  aj^point,  whether  by  Christian  activity 
or  Christian  endurance.  We  know  that  he  is  too  wise 
to  err.  Lot  us  then  endeavor  under  all  circumstances 
to  feel  and  to  say,  '  Lord,  do  with  us  as  seemeth  good  in 
thy  sight,'  for  *  who  is  a  God  like  unto  our  God  ? ' 

"  I  too  have  numerous  infirmities  to  bear ;  but  am 
enabled  to  keep  about,  and  think  my  health  better  than 
when  I  wrote  you  last.  I  think  of  you  and  yours  very 
often,  and  wish  greatly  to  see  you.  The  next  time 
that  you  take  a  journey  do  come  in  this  direction.  I  am 
indeed  in  earnest  in  the  matter.  Here  you  can  have 
sea  food,  air  and  bathing.  The  latter,  it  is  true,  you 
must  go  to  the  beach  to  enjoy,  but  it  is  only  a  mile  from 
our  house.  Will  you  come  ?  We  were  much  pleased 
to  hear  that  you  had  '  a  protracted  meeting,'  and  that 
the  results  were  so  satisfactory  to  the  friends  of  Jesus. 
We  must  ever  feel  the  liveliest  interest  in  the  church  at 
the  Harbor,  for  did  we  not  witness  its  struggle  for  exist- 
ence  ?  and  have  w^e  not  felt  to  our  hearths  core  the  oppo- 
sition of  the  enemy?  I  often  think  of  brother  B's 
remark  as  applied  to  your  place,  '  every  Christian  counts 
fen,'  and  that  '  it  is  an  honor  to  be  placed  as  watchman 
on  tlic  walls  where  constant  vigilance  is  necessary.^  We 
are  happy  to  hear  that  you  have  now  such  an  able  de- 
fender of  '  the  faith  once  delivered  to  the  saints.'  May 
you  long  enjoy  his  labors,  and  may  the  church  thrive 
under  his  fostering  care.  Is  he  interested  in  the  Sab- 
bath school,  and  do  you  have  the  S.  S.  concert  regularly  ? 

BIOGRArnY   OF   MRS.    LYDIA   C.    BACOX.  133 

We  have  tlicm  here  :  tliej  are  lield  in  our  own  liouse. 
My  dear  Josiah  is  still  superintendent,  and  I  have  the 
charge  of  the  female  department.  It  is  now  fifteen  or 
sixteen  years  since  I  have  held  this  responsible  situa- 
tion, and  oh,  how  imperfectly  liave  I  discharged  its  im- 
portant duties.  Do  you  still  sustain  your  female 
prayer-meeting?  and  is  it  well  attended?  I  ofter 
think  of  the  times  when  we  bowed  the  knee  together, 
with  only  a  sufficient  number  to  claim  the  promise, 
'  where  two  or  three  are  gathered  together  in  my  name 
there  am  I  in  the  midst  of  them.'  Those  were  sweet 
seasons  ;  but  you  are  stronger  now.  May  the  number 
of  those  who  delight  to  go  '  where  prayer  is  wont  to  be 
made  ^  be  largely  increased.  Your  dear  mother  is 
favored  in  being  restored  to  more  comfortable  health. 
Her  image  is  often  before  me,  seated  in  her  nice  arm- 
chair, and  the  many  pleasant  hours  passed  with  her  are 
not  forgotten  ;  give  her  my  kindest  regards.  M/ 
mother  enjoys  very  good  health  for  her  years ;  she  is 
now  seventy-two.  Soon  probably  must  these  dear  ones 
be  laid  in  the  grave  ;  but  we  may  go  before  them.  Oh, 
that  we  may  all  be  prepared  to  meet  in  those  blessed 
mansions  above.  There,  freed  from  sin  and  no  longer 
compassed  with  infirmities,  vre  shall  have  no  hindrances 
to  our  worship  and  bliss. 

*'  You  say  dear  little  Harriet  is  much  altered.  No 
doubt  she  is  ;  still  I  think  I  should  know  her.  I  could 
not  forget  those  eyes.  Has  she  forgotten  Uncle  and 
Auntie  Bacon  ?  Well  do  I  remember  the  shout  of 
welcome  with  which  she  always  greeted  us  ;  it  seems 
now  to  vibrate  in  my  ears.  Give  my  love  to  her.  Our 

134  BIOGRAPHY   OF   MRS.    LYDIA   B.    BACOX. 

dear  Elizabetli  and  lier  husband  you  say  are  gone  to  the 
South.  I  did  not  tliink  of  their  leaving  so  soon.  My 
husband  joins  me  in  kind  regards  to  you  all ;  he  is 
happy  to  hear  the  temperance  cause  is  looking  up  with 

"  Write  again  soon  to  your  affectionate 

"  Lydia.^' 

The  following  letter  from  Mrs.  Bacon  to  her  friend  is 
inserted  to  show  the  rectitude  of  her  principles,  as  well 
as  the  sweet  and  tender  charity  of  her  feelings.  I  do 
not  know  the  individual,  male  or  female,  who  more 
richly  abounded  in  deeds  of  charity  and  beneficence ; 
yet  her  strict  conscientiousness  and  discretion  made  up- 
rightness and  prudence  ever  the  handmaids  of  her  be- 
nevolence. An  incident  still  fresh  in  the  mind  of  the 
wTiter,  though  in  itself  a  trifle,  will  illustrate  my 
meaning.  Happening  into  her  dwelling  one  day,  I 
found  her  just  sitting  down  to  her  dinner.  I  mentioned 
the  case  of  a  poor  woman  but  a  few  doors  off'  who  was 
feeble  and  had  nothing  comfortable  to  eat.  Mrs.  B. 
looked  at  her  own  table,  and  musing  a  moment  said, 
*  I  will  send  her  this  dish  of  soup ;  it  will  be  nourishing 
and  relishing  for  her,  and  if  I  choose  to  deny  myself  I 
shall  lorong  no  07ie.  I  could  send  her  money,  but  she 
would  not  be  able  to  make  herself  a  broth  if  she  is  so 
unwell ;  and  the  fuel  necessary  to  cook  it  would  cost 
more  than  she  could  afford.^'  So  the  broth  was  sent  to 
the  ailing  indigent,  and  my  friend  made  her  own  dinner 
without   her   favorite   dish.     But  we  will  pass  to  the 

letter  which  is  addressed  to  Mrs.  B of  Sackett's 

Harbor,  and  is  dated 


"  Boston,  April  29,  1834. 

'*  Mj  beloved  sister  Harriet : — Your  letter  was  cor- 
dially received.  I  am  liappy  to  learn  that  your  health 
is  so  much  better,  but  regret  to  hear  of  the  indisposition 

of  Mr.  H and  N .     That  dear  little  Martha 

too,  her  sickness  must  be  most  distressing,  sucli  a  sweet 
sprightly  child,  and  lier  mother's  darling.  When  I 
think  of  her  mother,  what  a  crowd  of  memories  press 
through  my  mind.  Some  of  these,  oh  !  how  delightful, 
and  some  alas,  how  bitter.  Well,  resignation  to  the 
divine  will  becomes  such  frail  dependent  creatures  as 
we  are.  Heavenly  Father,  may  we  bow  in  submission, 
feeling  that  thou  canst  not  err. 

"  I  cannot  describe  my  feelings,  dear  friend,  while 
perusing  your  account  of  that  poor  young  orphan  girl, 
the  victim  of  a  seducer !  Base  villain !  his  com- 
punctions, (if  he  has  any  feeling,)  must  be  terrible; 
surely  he  must  remember  that  solemn  menace  of  holy 
writ,  '  Vengeance  is  mine  :  I  will  repay,  saith  the  Lord.' 
May  he  repent  of  all  his  wickedness,  so  that  he  may  not 
lose  his  soul.  You  ask  me  if  it  is  not  in  my  power  to 
afford  that  poor  wronged  one  protection.  Oh,  gladly 
would  I  answer  in  the  affirmative,  but  such  is  our  situa- 
tion here  that  it  would  be  impossible.  My  husband 
gains  only  a  support  by  the  business  in  which  he  is 
eno'ao^ed,  and  to  do  even  that  has  to  devote  all  his  time. 
Still  I  would  share  my  little  cheerfully  with  the  unfor- 
tunate ;  but  there  are,  (as  you  know,)  claims  against  us 
which  ought  to  be  liquidated.  All,  therefore,  which  by 
the  strictest  economy  we  can  save  must  be  applied  to 
these.  We  must  be  just  ere  we  can  be  generous.  I  am 
sure  you  will  believe  me  when  I  say  that  nothing  would 

136         BioGRArnY  of  mrs.  lydia  b.  bacox. 

give  me  more  pleasure  than  to  afford  tliis  poor  girl  an 
asylum,  could  I  comUtcntly  do  it.  Our  limited  circum- 
stances, as  far  as  we  ourselves  are  concerned,  never 
trouble  me,  for  we  learned  while  in  the  army  to  make  a 
little  suffice.  But  when  called  upon  to  assist  others  then 
I  feel  their  pressure.  However,  it  is  not  for  me  to  say 
who  shall  he  the  Lord's  almoners.  *  The  silver  and  gold 
is  his,'  '  the  hearts  of  all  are  in  his  hands ' ;  if  there  he 
a  willing  heart  it  is  accepted  '  according  to  that  a  man 
hath,  and  not  according  to  that  which  he  hath  not.''  This 
is  my  consolation. 

"  You  will  see  by  the  date  of  this  letter  that  I  am 
visiting  the  city.  My  sister  has  taken  a  journey  to  the 
South,  accompanied  by  her  husband  and  eldest  son. 
Knowing  that  she  would  not  like  to  leave  her  younger 
children  without  some  person  more  suitable  than  the 
servants  to  look  after  them,  I  offered  my  poor  services. 
Mr.  Bacon  with  his  usual  disinterestedness  consentingc 
to  my  absence.  So  liere  I  am,  and  mother  to  four 
childreu.  The  youngest  is  but  two  ^^ears,  and  a  very 
lovely,  docile  little  creature.  But  my  time  is  limited, 
and  I  must  bid  you  adieu.  Eeserving  a  corner  of  the 
paper  for  a  few  lines  to  your  little  Harriet,  I  remain  as 

"  Your  affectionate  friend  and  sister  in  Christ, 

"  L.  Bacon." 

''  To  Miss  Harriet : — I  was  delighted,  my  sweet  little 
H.,  when  'Uncle  Bacon,' — his  countenance  beaming 
with  pleasure, — presented  me  vrith  a  letter  horn  you. 
I  thank  you  for  it,  and  hope  to  be  often  thus  favored- 
I  am  glad  that  you  have  learned  to  write.     It  is  a  great 

BIOGRAPHY   OF   MRS.    LYDIA   B.    BACON.  137 

comfort,  (and  no  small  accomplislimcnt  also,)  to  be  able 
to  correspond  with  one's  friends.  I  often  think  of  you, 
dear  child,  and  wish  much  to  see  you.  Can  you  not 
persuade  your  dear  father  and  mother  to  bring  you  to 
visit  me.  I  am  sorry  you  must  part  with  your  only 
sister,  but  hope  the  separation  will  not  be  final.  I  want 
to  ask  if  you,  my  dear  H.,  have  yet  learned  to  trust  the 
blessed  Saviour  ?  I  hope  that  you  have ;  you  are  not 
too  young  to  give  him  your  heart.  This  is  very  pleasing 
to  him  who  while  on  earth  took  little  children  in  his 
arms  and  blessed  them  and  said,  '  Suffer  the  little 
children  to  come  unto  me.'  How  is  Ann  B.?  I  hope 
she  has  accepted  this  gracious  invitation  of  the  loving 
Saviour.  Give  her  my  kindest  love,  and  tell  her  I 
often  think  of  her.  Sweet  child !  she  was  one  of  my 
best  Sabbath  scholars.  I  well  remember  how  earnestly 
and  affectionately  she  used  to  listen  to  my  instructions. 
How  is  Clarissa  G.?  and  the  little  Butterfields — how  are 
they  ?  Please,  dear  Harriet,  give  them  my  love,  and 
remember  me  to  all  who  care  enough  about  me  to 
inquire  for  me. 

"  I  am  very  much  pleased  to  hear  that  the  trees  and 
shrubbery  have  grown  so  beautifully.  Thanking  you 
again  for  your  pretty  letter,  I  remain,  dear  child, 

**  Your  affectionate, 
''  Auntie  Bacon." 

To  Mrs.  E.  C.  B . 

''  Sandivieh,  Nov.  dth,  1836. 
"  My  ever  dear  Elizabeth  : — Your  favor  of  April  2Gtli 
was   read  with  the   warmest  interest.     I  then  fully 
intended  to  have  answered  it  immediately ;  but  a  desire 


for  a  more  convenieiifc  season  has  deferred  it  until  tlie 
present.  And  now  in  looking  at  the  date  of  yours,  I 
find  that  six  months  have  elapsed  since  its  reception. 
Accept  my  ackno^Yledgments,  (though  late,)  for  the 
very  interesting  account  of  yourself  and  family. 
Quickly  was  I  transported  to  that  dear  family  circle 
where  I  have  spent  so  many  happy  hours  ;  and  I 
enjoyed,  as  well  as  imagination  could,  the  delightful 
scene.  I  trust  that  your  anticipations  were  realized  in 
the  meeting  of  all  its  members.  If  such  earthly  re- 
unions are  sweet,  what  must  be  the  bliss  of  Heaven ! 

"It  does  indeed  rejoice  my  heart  to  hear  that  so 
many  of  the  dear  Sabbath  school  children  at  the  Harbor 
have  chosen  the  Lord  for  their  portion.  How  en- 
couraging for  teachers  and  parents  to  sow  the  seed  and 
water  it  with  tears  of  faith  and  love,  trusting  the  word 
of  Him  who  has  promised  that '  they  who  sow  in  tears 
shall  reap  in  joy.'  Oh,  may  those  dear  children  wait 
upon  their  divine  Master  with  the  sincere  and  earnest 
inquiry,  'Lord,  what  wilt  thou  have  us  to  do?' 
Language  will  not  convey  all  I  feel  when  I  think  of 
that  Church  and  Sabbath  school  at  the  Harbor.  I 
sympathize  with  them  in  being  so  long  deprived  of  a 
regular  pastor ;  but  trust  by  this  time  they  are  supplied. 
They  must  not  be  unnecessarily  particular;  every  liitle 
village  in  the  Union  cannot  expect  a  Dr. . 

"  We  are  happy  to  hear,  dear  E.,  that  your  husband's 
health  is  better.  But  we  regret  to  learn  that  it  is  still 
not  sufficiently  improved  to  enable  him  to  fill  the 
situation  in  his  Master's  vineyard  which  is  so  congenial 
to  his  feelings,  and  for  which  we  think  him  so  abundant- 
ly qualiaed.     What  a  consolation  is  it  to  God's  children 

BIOGRAPHY   OP   MRS.    LYDIA   B.    BACOX.  139 

that  tlicir  Father  in  heaven  knows  what  is  best  for 
them,  and  that  he  will  not  suffer  anj  adversity  to  over- 
take them  that  is  not  consistent  with  their  higliest  good 
and  his  ov\'n  glory.  And  though  he  may  deny  to  your 
heloved  James  the  privilege  of  laboring  where  he  thinks 
it  most  desirable,  yet  he  can  make  you  both  more  useful 
in  another  and  a  different  sphere.  May  he  give  to  each 
of  you  that  submissive  spirit  which  will  enable  you  to 
say,  '  Thy  will  be  done.' 

'*  I  learn,  (by  your  husband's  postscript  to  your  last,) 
that  you  have  another  immortal  soul  committed  to  your 
care  to  train  for  eternity.  So  your  duties  increase. 
Oh,  may  yon  be  abundantly  qualified  and  aided  in 
discharging  them.  I  know  that  you  realize  in  the 
fullest  sense  your  accountability  to  God  in  this  important 
trust.  Parents  have  many  helps  in  the  present  day — 
so  many  excellent  books  are  being  T\Titten  for  their 
benefit.  There  are  the  Abbots'  works,  the  Mother's 
Magazine,  and  many  others.  But  after  all  the  Bible, 
the  blessed  Bible,  is  the  book  to  which  we  should  resort  in 
preference  to  all  others.  May  you,  dear  E.,  be  enabled 
to  train  your  little  ones  in  the  nurture  and  admonition 
of  the  Lord,  and  experience  the  joy  of  seeing  them  early 
consecrate  themselves  to  Him  to  whom  you  and  their 
dear  father  have  already  devoted  them.  How  pleasing 
it  must  be  to  your  own  dear  parents  to  see  so  many  of 
their  beloved  ones  walkino;  in  the  straio;ht  and  narrow 
path  I  May  they  soon  have  the  satisfaction  of 
that  they  are  all  embraced  in  the  household  of  faith, 
and  look  forward  with  joy  to  the  time  when  they  shall 
all  be  gathered — a  whole  family — in  heaven.  You  did 
not  mention  Elisha,  Harriet  and  Edgar.     Dear  children  ! 


I  remember  tliem  well ;  do  tell  me  all  about  tbem 
wben  you  write  again.  I  bope  it  may  be  so  ordered 
tbat  M.  may  abide  at  tbe  Harbor.  Tbey  surely  need 
efficient  members  in  tbat  cburcb,  and  to  wbom  can  tbey 
look  if  not  to  tbose  tvJio  have  been  fostered  in  its  bosom? 

"  Dear  E.,  do  write  me  soon,  and  I  will  try  not  to  be 
so  tardy  in  replying.  Tell  me  every  tbing  about 
yourselves  and  friends  wbicb  you  sball  see  fit  to  com- 
municate to  one  wbo  will  ever  feel  tbe  deepest  interest 
in  you  all  Do  not  forget  to  mention  your  own  dear 
little  ones  ;  many  cbanges  may  bave  taken  place  since 
tbe  date  of  your  last.  However  diversified  your  lot 
may  be,  let  your  faitli  in  tbe  blessed  Eedeemer  be 
uncbanging.  Keep  constantly  in  mind  bis  own  as- 
surance, '  in  tbe  world  ye  sball  bave  tribulation ;  but 
be  of  good  cbeer,  I  bave  overcome  tbe  world.'  Yes, 
tbis  life  is  a  tborny  patb,  notwitbstanding  tbe  fruits 
and  flowers  wbicb  a  kind  Providence  bas  scattered  along 
its  banks.  But  bow  deligbtful  tbe  tbougbt  tbat  a  time 
is  coming  wben  tbose  wbo  love  God  sball  enjoy  tbat 
eternal  life  in  liis  presence  and  kingdom  wbere  neitber 
sin  or  sorrow  sball  mar  tbeir  peace  forever. 

"Ere  I  close  I  wisb  to  inquire  after  some  of  my  old 
friends  at  tbe  Harbor.  Dear  sister  Harriet  B.,  Mrs.  C, 
Mrs.  W.,  Mrs.  D.,  &c.;  it  is  a  great  wbile  since  tbey 
have  written  me,  and  it  would  give  me  great  pleasure 
to  bear  from  tbem.  Do  remember  me  to  tbem,  and  to 
all  otbers  wbo  tbink  me  wortb  inquiring  after.  My 
love  to  your  dear  grandmotber  and  parents  and  tbe 
cbildren,  in  wbicb  my  dear  Josiab  beartily  joins.  Give 
my  kindest  regards  to  your  good  busband,  and  kiss  tbe 
dear  babes  for  us.     Our  interest  in  cMldren  is  not  in  the 

BIOGRAniY   OF    MRS.    LYDIA   B.    BACON.  141 

least  abated.  A  kind  Providence  still  retains  us  in  our 
places  in  tlie  SaLbatli  school  here,  although  my  health 
does  not  permit  such  uninterrupted  attendance  as  at 
Sackett's.  What  a  privilege  to  be  allovrcd  to  labor  so 
long  in  this  blessed  cause.  Pray  for  us,  dear  child,  that 
while  God  gives  us  health  we  may  ever  have  a  luilling 
heart  to  do  what  we  can  for  him.  My  dear  mother 
enjoys  unusual  health  for  one  of  her  age,  and  desires 
her  kind  regards  to  you  all.  With  a  strict  injunction 
that  you  write  soon,  I  remain, 

"  Yours  in  Christian  bonds, 

''  L.  B.  Bacon.'' 

To  Mrs.  H.  B. 

"  Sandivlch,  Fth.  28th,  1837. 
**  Prompted  by  an  earnest  desire  to  hear  once  more 
from  my  ever  dear  sister  Harriet,  I  have  taken  my  pen 
to  give  you  positive  evidence  that  J  have  not  forgotten 
you.  In  this  way  I  hope  to  elicit  a  similar  expression 
of  remembrance  from  yourself.  I  have  endeavored  in 
every  possible  v^ay  to  account  for  your  long  silence. 
Prone  always  to  look  upon  the  bright  side,  I  cannot 
persuade  myself  that  you  have  ceased  to  think  of  one 
who  still  cherishes  the  warmest  affection  for  the  friend 
with  Avhom  she  has  passed  so  many  happy  hours.  With 
your  image,  my  loved  Harriet,  memory  associates  some 
of  the  most  interesting  occurrences  of  my  life,  and  could 
I  think  this  communication  would  be  received  with 
indifference  I  would  lay  down  my  pen  at  once.  No  !  I 
will  still  flatter  myself  with  the  pleasing  thought  that 
you  love  me,  until  you  have  had  time  sufficient  after 
the  reception  of  this  to  prove  my  idea  true  or  false. 

142  BIOGRAPHY   OF   MRS.   LYDIA   B.    BACON. 

"  I  learned  hj  John  E that  you  were  superin- 
tendent of  the  female  department  of  that  beloved 
Sahbath  school.  This  I  was  rejoiced  to  hear,  as  I  know 
your  love  for  the  cause  of  your  divine  Master,  and  your 
zeal  and  perseverance  in  every  good  Avork.  May  you 
bo  amply  rewarded  for  your  labor  of  love  to  the  lambs 
of  the  flock.  Often  when  teaching  my  own  class  here 
do  I  think  of  Sackett's,  and  in  imagination  see  you 
occupying  the  same  place  there  which  your  unworthy 
friend  once  filled.  The  dear  youth  with  whom  I  there 
met  weekly  in  the  house  of  God  are  often  in  my 
thoughts,  and  ever  have  a  place  in  my  prayers.  Where 
are  they  all  now?  I  have  from  time  to  time  been 
cheered  by  the  pleasing  intelligence  that  some  of  those 
dear  ones  have  been  gathered  into  the  fold  of  Christ. 
Oh,  that  I  could  hear  it  of  all !  Eight  years  have 
passed  in  rapid  succession  since,  with  heartfelt  sorrow, 
we  separated  from  you  and  your  dear  family.  I  have 
endeavored  since  to  set  more  loosely  by  the  things  of 
this  world,  and  have  not  formed  such  strong  local 
attachments  as  in  the  earlier  part  of  my  life.  We  are 
very  pleasantly,  (though  humbly,)  situated.  Our 
lieavenly  Father  has  been  most  kind  in  supplying  us 
with  the  comforts  of  life,  and  has  given  us  health, 
(generally,)  to  enjoy  them,  together  with  a  disposition 
to  fill  usefully  the  sphere  which  his  Providence  as- 
signed us. 

"  We  have  been  hoping  to  see  you  this  way  for  a  long- 
time. It  would  give  my  dear  Josiah  and  myself  the 
greatest  pleasure  to  welcome  you  with  'your  husband 
and  our  dear  Harriet  to  our  home  in  Sandwich.  Shall 
you  not  travel  this  summer?  and  will  you  not  come 

BIOGRAPHY   OF   MRS.   LYDIA   B.    BACON.  143 

tliis  way?  Does  your  honored  motlier  still  live?  or 
have  you  no  longer  to  watch  her  wasting  form?  How 
is  your  own  health?  and  how  are  your  hushand, 
Harriet,  Frances  and  her  family,  and  dear  Lucy's  little 
ones?      Is    Mrs.    Gray  still   living?     Where   are  Mr. 

C 's  family  ?     We  heard  that  he  was  dead,  and  if  I 

knew  where  to  direct  a  letter,  I  should  write  to  Mrs.  C. 
I  have  given  you  a  long  list  of  questions,  but  these 
friends  all  live  in  my  remembrance,  and  I  am  anxious 
to  know  of  their  welfare.  So  if  you  write  me,  be 
particular  to  tell  me  about  them  alL  My  dear  mother 
sends  love  to  you.     She  enjoys  remarkable  health  for 

her  age.     She  still  lives  with  my  sister  T ,  whose 

eldest  child,  a  daughter,  is  we  fear  in  a  fatal  decline. 
She  has  been  sick  for  a  year  past,  and  daily  grows 
weaker.  It  is  sad  to  see  such  a  young  creature,  (just 
eighteen.)  sinking  to  an  earl}^  grave  ;  but  we  trust  she 
is  prepared  for  the  change. 

"  What  an  eventful  period  we  live  in  !  How  many 
themes  agitate  the  public  mind.  What  does  your  good 
husband  think  of  the  slavery  question  and  popery? 
The  latter  seems  to  be  making  fearful  strides  in  our 
happy  land.  Should  not  Protestant  Christians  soon 
awake  and  make  commensurate  efforts,  we  shall  see 
Eomanism  gain  the  ascendancy.  What  an  awful  result 
to  contemplate  !  Some  few  seem  to  be  aware  of  the 
impending  danger,  and  books  and  papers  are  sent  forth 
to  arouse  the  people  to  action  on  this  important  subject. 
I  fondly  hope  that  this  country,  hitherto  so  blessed  of 
God,  may  not  become  a  prey  to  *  the  man  of  sin.' 
Alas !  how  soon  would  liberty  become  a  name  and  truth 

144  EIOGRAPIIY   OF   MRS.    LYDIA   B.    BACOX. 

a  b}-e-word,  and  our  lioly  religion  '  the  form  of  godli- 
ness '  witliout  '  the  230wer.' 

"  I  think  were  we  in  Sackett^s  now,  our  husbands 
would  find  more  topics  than  ever  for  reading  and  con- 
versation. Josiah  loves  to  read  the  papers  as  well  as 
ever,  but  has  little  time  for  this  favorite  amusement. 
He  is  confined  to  his  business  until  eight  in  the  evening. 
When  he  does  read  to  me  I  am  often  reminded  of  the 
time  when  he  used  to  read  so  much  with  your  husband. 
I  suppose  the  latter  has  his  dear  daughter  to  read  to  him 
now.  Thus  will  she  amply  repay  him  for  all  the  care 
with  which  he  used  to  instruct  Iier  in  this  invaluable  art. 
Well  do  I  remember  seeing  him  thus  engaged  with  his 
little  Harriet.  But  oh,  the  fiight  of  time  !  She  is  no 
longer  our  little  Harriet,  but  a  young  lady — Miss  B. 
I  suppose,  really,  her  Auntie  Bacon  would  hardly  know 
her  were  she  to  meet  her  now.  Does  she  resemble  you  ? 
Kiss  her  for  me,  dear  sister,  with  just  such  a  caress  as  / 
used  to  give  her  when  vrith  childish  vivacity  she  ran  to 
meet  me  as  soon  as  I  turned  the  corner  in  sight  of  your 
house.  Oh,  how  well  I  remember  her  beaming  looks  and 
joyous  shout  of  welcome.  I  should,  be  very  happy  to 
have  a  letter  from  her.  Take  each  of  you  a  large 
sheet  of  paper,  and  give  me  an  account  of  yourselves 
and  of  other  friends  wliom  I  dearly  love. 

"  I  hope  to  hoar  that  your  pulpit  is  well  and  perma- 
nently filled.  When  I  last  heard,  you  were  without  a 
pastor.  Husband  unites  with  me  in  cordial  regards  to 
yourself  and  husband  and  Harriet,  and  to  grandma 
also,  if  she  is  in  the  land  of  the  living. 

*'  Yours  fondly, 
"L.  Bacon.'' 

BIOaRAPHY  OF   MRS.    LYDIA   B.    BACON.  145 

To  tlie  same. 

"  SanchvicTi,  Nov.  dth,  1837. 

*'  Being-  entirely  alone  this  evening,  while  waiting  my 
hushantUs  return  from  his  business,  I  hasten  to  improve 
the  time  in  writing  to  my  beloved  Harriet.  Oh,  could 
I  just  step  in  to  your  dear  home  and  pass  the  hour  in 
social  converse,  methinks  it  would  quickly  fly  away. 

"  Talcott  informed  us  that  your  beloved  Frances  is 
no  more  !  Again  are  you  bereaved  of  a  darling  child. 
One  after  another  have  they  been  taken  ;  three  of  them 
sustaining  the  interesting  relation  of  waves  and  mothers, 
and  dear  Harriet  alone  is  left  you.  How  mysterious 
arc  the  ways  of  Providence  !  But  you  mourn  not  as 
those  without  hope.  They  all  died  in  faith,  and  are 
now,  we  trust,  rejoicing  '  with  joy  unspeakable  and  full 
of  glory.'  Your  dear  aged  mother  too  is  gone,  and  is 
now,  we  believe  in  the  presence  of  that  Saviour  '  whom 
not  having  seen,  she  loved.'  Oh,  how  many  of  our  dear 
ones  are  gone  before  us.  Among  them  our  precious 
Susan  Gallagher  and  Elizabeth  Boynton :  though  long 
separated  on  earth,  they  have  doubtless  met  in  the  blest 
regions  above.  We  had  fondly  hoped  to  see  them  again 
in  the  flesh  ;  but  he  who  knows  the  end  from  the 
beginning  willed  it  otherwise.  IMay  the  remembrance 
of  their  virtues  stimulate  us  to  copy  their  bright 
example,  and  to  be  followers  of  them  even  as  they 
also  were  of  Christ.  We  shall  meet  them  no  more 
here ;  but  if  faithful  to  our  trust,  when  Christ  has  no 
more  for  us  to  do  or  to  suff'er  on  earth,  we  shall  share 
with  them  in  '  that  inheritance  which  is  pure  and  un- 
defiled,  and  fadeth  not  away.'  Mrs.  Boynton  wrote  me 
that  Elizabeth  died  very  suddenly  with  an  aftection  of 

146  BIOGRAPHY   or   MRS.    LTDIA  B.   BAC0:M. 

the  heart  just  as  she  was  on  the  eve  of  marriage.  We 
were  very  much  pleased  with  seeing  Talcott ;  what  a 
lovely  young  man  he  appears  to  he.  I  should  think  his 
dear  motlicr  ought  to  feel  very  grateful  that  her 
endeavors  to  train  up  her  children  in  the  right  way 
have  heen  so  successful.  All  pious  parents  are  not  thus 
blessed.  Yet,  I  suppose  if  we  believe  the  promises,  we 
must  allow  that  the  failure  is  not  in  God.  '  He  is  not 
a  man  that  he  should  lie.'  '  Hath  he  said  and  will  he 
not  do  it?  hath  he  spoken,  and  will  he   not 

good?'     T looks  very  much  like  his  dear  mother; 

I  could  almost  fancy  myself  conversing  with  her  while 
talking  to  him.  It  was  very  kind  of  him  to  take  so 
much  pains  to  visit  us.  And  now,  ????/  dea?-  naiiglity 
Harriet,  I  want  to  cliide  you  that  you  should  come  so 
near  us  as  Springfield  and  return  without  visiting  us. 
Tell  your  dear  husband  I  feel  so  grieved  about  it  that  I 
know  not  what  to  say.  I  hope  you  will  never  be  guilty 
of  such  a  thing  again.  It  is  remarkably  'pleasant  here 
from  the  middle  of  May  till  October ;  but  the  most 
beautiful  season  is  from  the  first  of  June  until  the 
middle  of  July.  We  will  hope  yet  to  have  the  pleasure 
of  seeing  you  all  here  if  you  and  we  should  live.  I  am 
glad  to  learn  that  you  received  the  Magazine  with  the 
account  of  little  Catharine.  At  the  time  of  her  death 
some  of  her  friends  suggested  my  writing  something 
respecting  her,  but  I  did  not  then  feel  like  doing  it. 
Since  I  came  to  this  place  I  often  thought  of  her,  and 
one  Sabbath  evening,  after  being  with  my  class  and 
feeling  unusually  interested  in  them,  the  story  of 
Catharine  recurred  to  me,  and  I  resolved  to  write  it  for 
their  perusal.     When  it  was  done  my  friends  persuaded 


me  to  liavo  it  printed.  It  is  so  imperfectly  written  that 
I  ought  not  to  have  consented  ;  hut  inasmuch  as  it  was 
in  print,  I  concluded  to  send  you  a  copy,  knowing  that 
you  would  feel  deeply  interested  in  the  narrative.  I 
regret  that  I  have  not  a  copy  to  send  Mrs.  C,  as  she 
requests  ;  I  will  try  to  procure  one  when  I  go  to  the  city. 
"  I  hope  you  will  write  me  soon  and  tell  me  the 
particulars  respecting  Frances'  death.     Where  are  her 

dear  children  ?     Eememher  us  to  W ;  it  is  a  most 

afflictive  stroke  to  have  the  wife  of  his  youth  taken 
from  him,  and  in  so  sudden  a  manner.     The  daughter 

of  my  sister  T ,  whom  I  mentioned  as  sick  in  my 

last  letter,  died  the  first  of  April.  She  was  the  only 
daughter,  and  her  death  is  a  severe  affliction  to  her 
widowed  mother,  to  whom  she  was  a  great  comfort. 
She  was  a  pleasant,  and  we  trust  a  pious  child.  My 
sister  is  very  lonely ;  every  thing  reminds  lis  of  the  dear 
departed.  You  know  well  these  feelings.  May  afflic- 
tions he  sanctified  to  you  and  to  ns.  Eememher  my 
hushand  and  self  to  your  good  J.,  to  Harriet,  and  to 
all  inquiring  friends. 

"  Yours  in  love  and  sympathy, 

*'  L.  Bacox." 

The  winter  of  1838-9  Mrs.  Bacon  spent  very  pleas- 
antly in  Boston,  her  hushand  having  heen  chosen 
Eepresentative  to  the  State  Legislature.  In  the  city 
she,  of  course,  enjoyed  many  privileges  from  which  the 
more  retired  situation  of  Sandwich  deharred  her.  Some 
of  these  are  referred  to  in  the  following  letter  to  Mrs. 


To  Mrs.  E.  C.  B. 

^^  SandivicJi,  June  GtJi,  1839. 
"  My  dear  Elizabeth: — Having  just  received  intelli- 
gence that  several  vessels  will  sail  for  the  Sandwich 
Islands  in  six  weeks  from  this  date,  I  hasten  to  impart 
the  information  agreeably  to  your  request.     I  hope  you 
will  he  ready  to  avail  yourself  of  the  opportunity,  if 
you  have  not  already  sent  via  New  York.     I  have  been 
hoping  to  hear  from  my  dear  young  friends  before  this, 
but   conclude   your   time   must   be   more   usefully   or 
agreeably  employed.     I  need  not  repeat  that  it  will 
always  add  much  to  my  happiness  to  receive  letters 
from  you.     It  is  now  six  months  since  I  have  had  any 
tidings  from  you,  and  I  begin  to  feel  anxious  to  hear  of 
your    welfare.     During   our   sojourn    in    Boston    last 
winter,  we  had  several  delightful  interviews  with  our 
mutual  friends,  Mr.  and  Mrs.  McLcUan.     You  and  your 
dear   husband   were   not   forgotten.      They   expressed 
much  satisfaction  that  they  had  enjoyed  the  privilege  of 
seeing  you  both,  and  requested  to  be  remembered  to 
you  with  much  affection.     We  enjoyed  much  while  in 
the  city,  being  favored  with  health  and  opportunity  to 
attend  many  interesting  meetings.     Among  those  from 
which  we  derived  great  pleasure  and  instruction  were 
the  lectures   on  the  Evidences  of  Christianity,  by  the 
Ecv.  Mr.  Aiken,  IMr.  Blagden,  Mr.  Winslow  and  Mr. 
Towno.     The  latter  is  a  young  man,  but  highly  gifted, 
and  appears  very  much  devoted  to  the  cause  of  his  divine 
blaster.     I   often   thought   of  you   while  listening  to 
them,  and  wished  that  you  could  enjoy  them  with  me. 
"  AVe  retui'ned  to  Sandwich  about  the  middle  of  April. 
Although  we  had  enjoyed  much  in  our  winter  sojourn, 


yet  WG  were  glad  to  return  once  more  to  the  peace  and 
quiet  of  our  village  home.  It  was  pleasant  to  resume 
the  duties  of  our  station,  which  had  been  for  a  time 
suspended ;  it  was  pleasant  to  meet  our  heloved 
Sabbath  school  and  praying  circle,  and  to  receive  in- 
struction again  from  our  own  pastor.  While  in  Boston 
I  attended  a  Sabbath  school  at  the  House  of  Correction, 
which  you  visited  while  here.  The  school  was  composed 
of  those  degraded  creatures  whom  we  saw  in  iJie  ivorh- 
room.  In  that  room  the  school  was  held,  and  there  I 
taught  a  class.  Oh,  how  different  were  they  from  those 
comparatively  innocent  being s  whom  I  had  been  ac- 
customed to  teach.  Yet  the  latter  as  truly  need  a  Me- 
diator as  the  former,  for  the  most  moral  as  well  as  the 
most  vile  must  be  washed  in  atoning  blood  and  become 
new  creatures  in  Christ  Jesus  or  they  can  never  be 

*'  In  my  class  were  eight  females,  some  of  them 
about  my  own  age,  and  others  more  advanced  in  life. 
All  were  brought  to  this  house  in  consequence  of  in- 
dulging too  freely  in  ardent  spirits.  Under  its  influ- 
ence they  had  been  led  to  commit  crimes  which  must 
be  expiated  by  a  residence  in  those  gloomy  cells,  which 
I  presume  you  will  well  remember.  I  was  pleased  to 
see  them  solemn  and  attentive,  and  some  of  them  well 
acquainted  with  their  Bible.  The  last  Sabbath  I  was 
there  being  the  anniversary,  we  assembled  in  the  chapel 
after  school  to  join  in  further  religious  exercises  and  to 
hear  the  report,  which  was  exceedingly  interesting. 
Both  male  and  female  prisoners  were  present  on  this  oc- 
casion, though  separated  from  each  other  by  a  partition 
made  high  enough  for  that  purpose.  The  seat  which  I 


occupied  gave  me  a  partial  view  of  tlie  men,  and  an 
entire  one  of  the  women.  It  was  doiiMy  painful  to  see 
among  them  so  many  youthful  faces.  The  sight  was  to 
me  solemn  and  affecting.  Oh,  my  friend,  what  has  not 
sin  wrought !  What  an  exhibition  here  of  its  conse- 
quences, and  what  cause  of  gratitude  that  we  have  not 
"been  left  to  fill  such  a  destiny.  I  think  if  ever  I  felt 
both  humble  and  grateful,  it  was  while  endeavoring  to 
impart  instruction  to  those  poor  women.  Often  would 
the  language  of  Scripture  rise  to  my  mind,  *  Who 
madeth  thee  to  differ  ?  and  what  hast  thou  which  thou 
didst  not  receive  ?' 

''  What  cheering  communications  the  last  Herald 
contained  from  the  Sandwich  Islands.  We  have  re- 
ceived letters  from  our  friends  who  are  on  the  way  there. 
They  had  got  round  the  Cape,  were  in  good  spirits,  and 
had  been  favored  with  good  weather  most  of  the  time. 
We  shall  soon  expect  to  hear  of  them  from  the  Islands. 
And  now,  my  beloved  E.,  let  me  hear  from  you  and 
yours.     With  much  love, 

"  Yours  truly, 

*'  L.  Bacon." 

To  Mrs.  H.  B . 

*'  Sandwich,  May  Gth,  1840. 
"  I  thank  you  a  thousand  times,  my  precious  sister 
Harriet,  for  your  very  interesting  letter,  which  I 
received  as  a  i^roof  that  you  had  not  forgotten  mo. 
I  could  not  believe  that  you  had,  although  your  long 
silence  was  rather  ominous.  I  cannot  tell  you  of  the 
emotions  which  thrilled  my  heart  on  reading  it.     Ee- 


inembrances  of  scenes  of  past  enjoyment;  recollections 
of  the  fondly  loved,  the  early  lost  ? 

''  Oh,  how  often  do  I  think  of  dear  Mrs.  Hooker. 
How  delightful  were  the  hours  of  our  early  acquaintance. 
Hand  in  hand  we  partook  of  the  same  joys  and  sorrows, 
and  united  with  others  to  henefit  the  needy  around  us. 
She  had  a  large  heart,  and  her  early  exit  was  a  severe 
loss,  not  only  to  her  family  and  friends,  hut  to  the  poor 
and  the  suffering.  Dear  Lucy  too  I  loved,  and  Frances. 
Tell  grandpa  that  I  remember  Prances  as  well  as  if  I 
saw  her  hut  yesterday.  She  was  one  of  the  most 
interesting  children  I  ever  knew ;  if  her  little  daughter 
is  like  her  she  cannot  help  filling  a  large  place  in  your 
hearts.  I  should  love  dearly  to  see  you  all,  and  thank 
you  for  your  kind  invitation  to  come  to  the  Harbor. 
But  such  indulgences  are  not  for  us  at  present ;  it 
seems  that  Providence  does  not  intend  we  shall  have 
more  of  this  world  than  what  we  are  commanded  to 
pray  for — our  daily  bread.  Yet  for  this  I  desire  to  be 
truly  thankful,  remembering  the  admonition  of  an 
apostle,  '  Having  food  and  raiment,  let  us  be  therewith 

"  You  m_ust  come  and  see  us.  Cape  Cod  is  a  beau- 
tiful place,  especially  in  summer.  We  are  now  living 
with  my  mother  and  sister  Abby,  or  rather  they  are 
boarding  with  us.  Mother  is  very  well  for  a  person  so 
advanced  in  years.  She  is  now  seventy-eight,  and 
retains  all  her  senses  remffi'kably  except  her  hearing. 
My  sister  has  lost  her  daughter  and  her  two  boys,  and 
was  very  lonely  ;  so  we  moved  into  their  house  last 
July,  and  as  I  said  they  board  with  us.  The  house  is 
small,  but  very  pleasant,  and  we  have  a  bed  for  a  friend. 


It  is  a  great  pleasure  to  help  sraooth  tlie  declining  years 
of  a  beloved  mother:  this  you,  my  dear  H.,  know  by 
experience.  I  often  think  of  yours,  (now  a  saint  in 
glory,)  when  I  look  at  mine.  She  is  highly  favored  in 
retaining  such  good  health,  and  I  trust  she  may  long 
be  spared  to  us. 

''  It  gives  me  great  pleasure  to  hear  so  good  an 
account  of  my  '  pet.'  I  hope  she  may  continue  to  be 
all  that  your  fond  hearts  can  desire.  From  some  ex- 
pressions in  her  letter  to  me  some  time  since,  and 
subsequently  from  yourself,  I  was  led  to  suppose  she 
had  given  her  heart  to  the  Saviour.  Is  this  really  the 
case  ?  Tell  her  religion  is  the  one  thing  needful,  and 
most  lovely  when  it  adorns  the  brow  of  youth.  I  look 
around  on  our  Sabbath  scliool  here,  and  often  groan  in 
spirit  at  seeing  so  little  fruit  from  our  labors.  But  that 
sweet  verse  often  meets  my  eye  and  cheers  my  heart, 

'  Though  seed  lie  buried  long  in  dust, 
It  shan't  deceive  our  hope,' 

and  with  fresh  alacrity  I  try  to  pursue  the  path  of  duty. 
Have  you  a  Maternal  Association?  We  think  them 
very  useful  and  interesting.  Our  ordinary  meetings 
are  held  once  a  month,  and  are  spent  in  useful  reading 
and  in  prayer  for  our  children.  Once  a  quarter  our 
minister  meets  with  them,  and  instructs  them  from  the 
Assembly's  Catechism.  •The  children  recite,  after 
which  he  questions  and  explains  to  them. 

"  One  of  the  public  prints  has  recently  mentioned  a 
revival  of  religion  at  Sackett's  Harbor.  This  rejoiced 
our  hearts,  for  though  we  are  not  favored  vvith  one  here 

BIOGRAPHY   OF   MUS.   LYDIA   B.    BACOX.  153 

we  are  glad  to  hear  of  tlie  triumphs  of  the  cross  any 
where,  and  especially  at  our  beloved  Sackett's.  It  is 
now  a  long  time  since  we  have  heard  the  anxious 
inquiry,  '  What  shall  T  do  to  be  saved  ?^  Some  of  our 
church  are  feeling  quite  strongly  on  the  subject.  God 
is  pouring  out  his  spirit  all  over  the  land,  and  I  hope 
we  shall  not  he  passed  by.  My  prayer  is,  *  0,  Lord,  re- 
vive thy  work.' 

"  My  interview  with  our  former  beloved  pastor  and 
liis  precious  wife  was  like  meeting  an  'oasis'  in  the 
desert.  I  enjoyed  it  exceedingly.  Elizabeth,  you 
know,  was  one  of  ony  cJiildren,  and  to  see  her,  (as  far  as 
I  could  judge,)  all  that  I  expected  and  desired  was  very 
gratifying.  She  has  many  talents — of  such  much  will 
be  required.  I  pray  that  she  may  have  grace  given  her 
to  improve  them  an  hundred  fold.  I  am  glad  to  hear 
that  your  dear  Harriet  is  fond  of  music.  Does  she  love 
jioivers  too  ?  I  think  a  taste  for  these  should  go 
together.  I  wish  she  would  write  me  a  long  letter,  and 
let  me  know  her  tastes,  occupations  and  pleasures.  If 
she  cultivates  flowers,  I  have  some  beautiful  exotics  I 
should  like  to  show  her.  I  would  recommend  the  culti- 
vation of  flowers  to  all  young  persons.  It  is  a  never- 
failino'  source  of  innocent  oTatification,  and  tends  to  lift 
the  heart  and  mind  to  the  great  Author  of  nature  and 
of  being,  who  has  spread  this  earth  with  so  many 
beauties  for  the  comfort  and  pleasure  of  his  creatures. 
¥/hile  they  think  of  him  thus  as  tlie  God  of  creation, 
will  they  not  also  remember  that  tlie  most  precious  of 
his  gifts  to  man  is  an  atonivg  Saviour,  and  believing  in 
Bim  be  led  to  worship  the  God  of  redemption. 

154  BIOGRAPnY   OF   MRS.   LYDIA   B.    BACON. 

'*  My  linsbaiid  is  gone  to  Baltimore  as  a  delegate 
from  the  Whig  Association  here,  (of  which  he  is 
president,)  to  the  Whig  Convention  to  he  held  at  that 
place.  He  was  not  well  at  all,  and  I  hope  the  journey 
will  be  of  use  to  him.  He  read  your  letter  with  much 
interest,  and  I  may  venture  to  send  his  love,  though  he 
is  not  present.  AYhat  does  your  good  husband  think  of 
the  times  ?  I  refer  especially  to  the  Sandwich  Islands, 
and  the  conduct  of  the  Freyicli  frigate  there.  My  sister 
J.  has  a  son  with  his  wife  there.  Through  them  I 
frequently  hear  of  our  dear  Mrs.  J.  Mother  and  sister 
desire  their  love  to  you.  With  a  great  deal  of  the 
same  from  myself  to  you  all,  I  am, 

''  Your  afiectionate, 

"  L.  B.  Bacon.'' 

The  time  of  Mrs.  Bacon's  sojourn  at  Sandwich  now 
drew  to  a  close.  Early  in  the  spriug  of  1841  her 
husband  received  an  appointment  as  steward  of  the 
United  States  Marine  Hospital  at  Chelsea.  This  was 
understood  to  be  through  the  influence  of  General  Har- 
rison, whose  personal  recollections  of  Captain  Bacon,  as 
he  knew  him  in  the  army,  and  his  convictions  of  his 
fitness  for  the  situation  prompted  him  to  this  act  of 
friendship.  From  this  position  he  was  removed  only  by 
death.  It  has  been  truly  said  of  him  since  his  decease, 
"  Of  his  self-denying,  persevering  assiduity,  of  his  un- 
remitting fidelity  to  every  interest  connected  with  that 
institution  hnoiu  all  men.  For  him  to  have  remained 
through  two  administrations  v.ith  which  he  had  no 
political  affinities  is  the  highest  eulogium  upon  his 
capacities  and  faithfulness,  and  is  no  less  honorable  to 

EIOGRArnY   OF   MRS.    LYDIA   L.    BACOX.  155 

those  who  for  the  public  good  suffered  him  to  remain. 
The  haying  out  of  the  grounds  around  the  Hospital, 
their  care  and  cultivation,  the  fruit  trees,  vines  and 
flowers  which  are  now  so  flourishing  all  bespeak  his 
good  taste,  as  well  as  his  kind  feelings  towards  those 
for  w^hose  welfare  this  asylum  was  established.'  It  is 
added  by  his  pastor  whose  words  I  have  just  quoted, 
*  He  was  active  and  forward  in  promoting  the  formation 
of  this  church,  and  was  chosen  one  of  its  first  deacons, 
which  office  he  held  until  his  death,  never  failing  to  be 
present  at  CA^cry  communion  season  until  the  last,  when 
disease  had  laid  him  aside.'  Mrs.  B's  correspondence 
furnishes  so  good  a  history  of  their  residence  in  Chelsea 
that  any  other  detail  seems  superfluous.  The  following 
letter  announces  her  removal. 

To  Mrs.  H.  B . 

L,  1 
Chelsea,  June  IGth,  1841.    J 

"  My  dear  sister  Harriet  must  excuse  my  not  answer- 
ing her  precious  letter  ere  this.  When  I  received  it  we 
were  in  an  unsettled  state,  not  knowing  wdiat  our  desti- 
nation vrould  be.  So  I  delay^ed  writing  till  something 
more  decisive  should  be  known.  On  the  first  of  May- 
last  my  husband  was  appointed  steward  of  this  institu- 
tion. It  is  a- place  provided  by  the  United  States  Gov- 
ernment for  invalid  sailors.  Here  they  may  be  restored 
to  health,  or  lay  their  bones  in  its  cemetery.  Few  die, 
however,  compared  with  tlie  number  who  are  restored  to 
health.  It  is  an  excellent  institution,  and  we  find  our 
situation  more  agreeable  than  we  had  dared  to  hope. 
For  although  my  temperament,  as  you  well  know,  is 

156  BIOGEAPHY   OF   MRS.    LYDIA   B.    BACON. 

sangiiino,  I  have  learned  by  experience  and  tlie  word 
of  God  not 'to  anticipate  too  mucli,  or  place  dependence 
on  any  thing  below. 

*'  Bnt  methinks  I  hoar  you  say,  *  Is  it  possible  that 
Lydia  Bacon  has  left  her  mother  again?'  Yes,  my 
friend,  I  have  separated  from  that  dear  aged  parent 
once  more.  It  cost  me  much,  but  my  duty  and  affection 
to  my  husband  was  paramount  to  all  other  considei-a- 
tions.  And  besides  my  mother  is  as  pleasantly  situated 
as  possible,  with  my  brother  very  near  her,  and  my  sister 

S also.     We  are  but  sixty  miles  distant,  and  can 

visit  her  often,  or  should  it  be  necessary  we  could  have 
her  with  us.  But  she  resides  in  her  own  house  with 
every  comfort  she  needs  or  desires,  enjoying  a  green  old 
age.  Although  in  her  eightieth  year,  she  is  still 
surprisingly  active,  and  her  faculties  are  as  bright  as 
ever.  She  cuts  and  makes  her  own  dresses  also  ;  true, 
they  are  made  after  her  own  fashion,  but  they  look  very 
pretty,  and  it  pleases  her  to  do  it.  It  was  hard  for  her 
to  part  with  us  ;  but  she  knew  it  was  best,  and  I  think  3^ou 
will  say  so  too  when  you  hear  the  particulars. 

^'  The  situation  which  my  husband  filled  in  the  glass 
works  at  Sandwich,  though  very  respectable  and 
responsible,  was  at  the  same  time  most  laborious  and 
confining.  And  it  only  afforded  us  a  living,  even  wdien 
the  business  was  good.  But  for  a  few  years  past  the 
business  during  a  part  of  the  time  was  so  dull  that  the 
emolument  received  for  unremitting  service,  with  our 
utmost  economy,  only  sufficed  for  a  bare  subsistence. 
For  a  time,  indeed,  the  factory  stopped  entirely,  and  had 
not  Providence  provided  for  us  by  opening  the  way  for 
Josiah  to  go  to  the  Legislature,  we  should  have  been 

BIOGRAPnY   OF   MRS.    LYDIA   B.    BACON.  157 

wholly  witliout  support.  His  licaltli  too  was  suffering, 
and  we  could  see  no  way  of  improving  our  coiidition. 
if  we  remaiued  at  Sandwich.  True,  we  were  very  much 
attached  to  the  people  and  the  place  ;  it  is  one  of  the 
loveliest  viUages  that  the  sun  ever  shone  upon.  But 
my  hushand  came  to  the  conclusion  that  it  was  his  duty 
to  try  to  do  something  towards  bettering  his  condition. 
Learning  that  this  post  would  soon  he  vacant,  hj 
applied  for  it,  and,  although  there  were  a  host  of 
applicants,  succeeded  in  obtaining  it.  So  here  Ave  are, 
he  as  steward  and  myself  as  matron  of  this  establish- 

**  We  have  a  family  varying  from  sixty  to  ninety,  in- 
cluding help.  The  latter  have  to  be  hired,  as  the 
sailors  leave  as  soon  as  they  are  convalescent,  unless 
occasionally  one  vv^ill  stay  on  wages  instead  of  going  to 
sea  again.  The  salary  is  not  large,  but  is  much  better 
than  that  received  by  my  husband  for  his  former  occu- 
pation. Then  the  business  is  much  more  congenial  to 
his  feelings,  giving  him  a  fine  scope  for  the' exercise  of 
those  benevolent  traits  of  character  which  his  friends 
have  always  ascribed  to  him.  The  duties  of  our  station 
are  more  pleasant  and  not  so  laborious  as  in  Sandwich. 
Much  physical  strength  is  not  required  of  us,  as  there 
are  none  but  sick  men  to  be  taken  care  of,  and  the  nursing 
is  done  by  suitable  persons  of  their  own  sex.  There  are 
only  three  females  in  the  establishment  besides  myself: 
these  are  two  cooks  and  a  laundress.  My  husband  has 
ample  room  in  the  neglected  grounds  belonging  to  the 
place  for  the  indulgence  of  his  favorite  pursuits,  and  I 
have  opportunity  within  the  building  for  the  exercise  of 
all  the  benevolence  which  I  have  the  heart  or  the 

158  BIOGRAPHY  OF  MRS.    LYDIA  B.   BAC02T. 

strengtli  to  perform.  So,  taking  all  tilings  into  con- 
sideration, it  seems  to  bo  just  the  place  for  us  botli. 
We  bog  of  you  to  remember  us  in  jour  petitions  at  a 
throne  of  grace,  and  do  not  forget  also  to  praj  for  tlie 
poor  sick  sailors.  We  have  great  demands  upon  our 
sympathies.  We  are  constantly  coming  in  contact  with 
suffering ;  there  are  all  kinds  of  diseases  ;  the  subjects 
are  of  every  age,  from  youth  upward,  and  there  is,  of 
course,  great  diversity  of  character.  I  trust  that  some 
have  left  us  healed  both  in  body  and  mind".  There  are 
several  interesting  cases  here  now.  Some,  if  their 
lives  are  spared,  will,  I  hope,  be  useful  to  their  fellow 
men.  We  have  religious  services  on  each  Sabbath 
evening  and  on  Thursday  afternoon.  On  the  Sabbath 
day  those  who  are  able  attend  worship  in  either  of  the 
evangelical  societies,  of  which  there  are  several  in  the 
village.  Our  society,  (the  Orthodox,)  is  the  smallest, 
having  just  been  started.  There  is,  of  course,  every 
thing  to  be  done.  Oh,  how  I  want  to  go  forward  in  the 
establishment  of  a  Sabbath  school,  female  prayer- 
meeting,  &c.,  but  my  duties  to  my  numerous  family  in 
the  Hospital  forbid  it  for  the  present,  as  I  have  no  time 
to  take  a  very  active  part  beyond  its  limits.  What  is 
duty  in  some  situations  ceases  to  be  in  others.  Neither 
do  1  feel  able  to  trot  about  as  I  have  done  in  years  gone 
by.  I  am  now  fifty-five,  and  although  I  enjoy  tolerable 
health,  yet  I  cannot  endure  the  fatigue  that  I  formerly 
did.  Is  it  not,  my  dear  friend,  a  most  kind  Providence 
to  place  us  where  we  can  be  very  useful,  (if  we  will,) 
without  extreme  fatigue  ?  Is  it  not  most  kind  that  we 
arc  not  laid  by  unable  to  work  for  the  Lord  ?  Oh,  for 
the  spirit  of  Jesus,  our  divine  Master,  to  teach  us  our 

BIOGRAPHY   OF   MRS.    LTDIA   B.    BACON.  159 

duty  and  cnaLle  us  faitlifully  and  cheerfully  to  perform 
it  with  a  single  eye  to  his  glory.  May  we  so  experience 
the  peace  and  blessedness  of  the  gospel  in  our  own 
hearts  that  we  may  he  able  to  cheer,  counsel  and 
admonish  those  who  need  it. 

"  The  local  situation  of  this  place,  (Chelsea,)  is  beau- 
tiful. It  is  across  Charles  Eiver,  opposite  Boston,  with 
which  it  is  connected  by  a  ferry.  Steam  ferry-boats  go 
and  return  every  half  hour.  There  is  also  a  very 
pleasant  drive  to  the  city  through  Charlestown.  There 
is  a  Naval  Hospital  in  Chelsea,  where  sick  and  disabled 
officers  are  taken  care  of.  From  our  parlor  windows  we 
have  a  beautiful  view  of  our  native  city,  the  Navy 
Yard  at  Charlestown,  and  Bunker's  Hill  with  its  proud 
monument — all  tending  to  produce  associations  in  the 
mind  of  a  most  interesting  nature. 

"  We  vrant  you  and  your  dear  husband  and  daughter 
to  come  and  see  us.  We  want  to  see  your  dear  faces 
once  more  in  the  flesh.  AVe  have  good  quarters  and 
comfortable  living,  found  by  Government  it  is  true,  but 
as  we  serve  them  faithfully  and  have  no  family  but  our 
two  selves,  I  do  not  think  it  unjust  that  our  friends 
should  visit  us  occasionally.  My  dear  husband  joins  in 
this  request  and  in  sending  his  love  to  you  with  mine. 
With  love  to  all  who  remember  us  at  the  Harbor,  I 

*'  Yours  faithfully, 

"  Lydia  Bacon." 

160  BIOGRAPHY   OF   MRS.    LYDIA   B.    BACO>^. 

To  Mrs.  S ,  of  Sandwich. 

"  Chelsea,  September,  1841. 

"  Dear  Sister: — I  suppose  that  you  are  heginning  to 

think   of  going  west.     I  hope  you  have  had  a 

pleasant  time.  I  shall  he  much  disappointed  if  he  does 
not  let  us  see  him  hefore  he  leaves  Boston.  How  is 
Mary^s  health  since  her  return?  We  derived  much 
pleasure  from  her  visit,  and  hope  that  she  enjoyed  it 
enough  to  make  her  wish  to  repeat  it. 

"  Next  week  on  Thursday,  the  Methodist  meeting- 
house here  will  he  dedicated,  and  our  society  is  invited 
to  attend.  It  is  prohahle  Mr.  Mojffit  will  be  here,  and  if 
he  does  I  shall  expect  him  to  come  to  me  after  the 
dedication.  The  church  is  a  nice,  convenient  building  ; 
Christians  in  that  society  are  somewhat  engaged  since 
the  camp-meeting.  Two  of  our  sailors  are  to  be 
baptized  and  admitted  to  the  church.  Tell  Mary,  the 
one  with  whom  I  had  some  conversation  w^hen  we  were 
cutting  out  sheets  in  the  office,  is  one  of  them.  He  ap- 
pears very  wtII  indeed.  We  have  sixty-five  patients 
now ;  some  of  them  are  very  sick,  and  others  appear  to 
be  going  to  their  long  home.  A  number  of  them  are 
thoughtful,  but  they  are  so  constantly  coming  and  going 
that  we  shall  never  know  the  result  with  regard  to  many 
of  them.  At  the  meetino;s  in  the  house  those  who  are 
able  to  attend  are  very  solemn  and  attentive.  It  is  an 
affecting  sight  to  see  them,  when  we  consider  the  worth 
of  the  immortal  soul,  and  the  peculiar  temptations  to 
which  seamen  are  liable.  Cut  off,  as  they  are  while  at 
sea,  from  the  sanctuary  and  the  means  of  o-race,  were 
they  not  sick  sometimes  in  port  they  would  hardly  find 

BIOGRArnY   OF   MRS.    LYDIA   B.    BACON.  161 

time  for  reflection  or  instruction.  I  tell  tliem  it  is  a 
mercy  they  are  sick,  for  it  gives  tliem  time  and  oppor- 
tunity to  care  for  their  souls ;  but,  alas  !  a  sick  bed  is 
after  all  a  hard  place  to  seek  God  and  prepare  for 
heaven.  Poor  fellows !  some  of  them  suffer  a  great 
deal ;  I  pity  and  pray  for  them. 

"  Last  Tuesday  a  sewing  circle,  or,  (as  ours  is  named,) 
the  Ladies'  Benevolent  Society,  was  formed  from  our 
congregation.  As  no  one  here  was  found  willing 
to  take  the  lead,  and  I  was  unanimously  chosen  to  the 
office  of  first  directress,  I  felt  compelled  to  accept  it  for 
the  present.  In  addition  to  this  there  will  soon  be  a 
prayer-meeting  and  Maternal  Association ;  so  you  see, 
my  dear  sister,  change  of  place  has  not  lightened  duty, 

"  Kev.  Mr.  Sogers,  of  Boston,  Mr.  Clark,  of  East 
Boston,  Mr.  Laurie,  (who  is  to  be  a  missionary  to  the 
Nestorians,)  and  our  own  dear  minister,  Mr.  Langworthy, 

were  with  us  to  tea  at  Mr.  0 's.     These  gentlemen 

are  all  of  the  first  order  for  piety,  intelligence  and 
courtesy  of  manners. 

'•  In  the  evening  we  repaired  to  Slade's  Hall,  the  place 
where  we  meet  for  divine  worship.  After  suitable 
addresses  by  Mr.  Kogers  and  Mr.  Clark,  we  proceeded 
to  the  formation  of  an  Orthodox  Church  and  Society  in 
this  place.  We  had  an  interesting  time  both  afternoon 
and  evening.  It  is  very  solemn  to  enter  into  covenant 
relations  vath  God  and  our  fellovr-Christians.  I  hope 
and  pray  that  the  Church  thus  formed  may  increase 
and  bo  productive  of  good  to  the  cause  of  Zion. 

"  To-day  has  been  a  solemn  day  at  the  Hospital. 
Two  men  have  died,  one  at  four  in  the  morniDg,  and 


the  other  at  nine.  The  latter  went  very  suddenly.  He 
had  just  said  to  his  physician,  as  he  was  leaving  the 
room  after  making  his  morning  call,  *  how  much  better 
I  am.^  But  as  the  doctor  reached  the  door  the  patient 
fell  back  in  his  chair,  dead !  His  disease  was  an  affec- 
tion of  the  heart.  •  Tomorrow  both  the  deceased  will 
be  consigned  to  the  tomb.  We  expect  Eev.  Mr.  Taylor, 
of  Boston,  to  officiate. 

*'  Yesterday  Mrs.  B.  and  Mrs.  S.  spent  the  day  wii;h 
us.  They  appeared  to  enjoy  every  thing  except  the 
sight  of  the  large  boilers  of  tea  which  was  sending  its 

fumes  all  over  the  house.     Mrs.  B thinks  I  ought 

not  to  allow  the  patients  tea  and  coffee,  believing  it 
wicked  to  drink  any  thing  but  cold  water.  I  wish  I  had 
no  other  sin  to  answer  for  than  neglecting  to  convince 
sailors  of  the  wrong  of  drinking  tea  and  coffee.  If  I 
can  persuade  them  not  to  drink  rum  I  shall  be  satisfied. 
Remember  us  affectionately  to  your  dear  family  and 
friends,  and  come  and  see  us  as  soon  as  you  can. 

"  Yours  ever, 

"  Lydia  Bacon." 

To  her  Mother. 

''  Qhehea,  Jan.  17 th,  1842. 
*'  Dear  Mother : — Our  brother  and  sister  made  us  a 
flying  visit,  wdiich,  though  short,  was  very  pleasant  to 
us.  We  w^ish  they  could  have  stayed  longer.  Sister 
intends,  should  nothing  prevent,  to  visit  us  when  the 
weather  is  warmer.  I  hope  that  she  found  her  late 
visit  agreeable  enough  to  induce  her  to  come  again  as 
she  proposes.  Tell  lier  the  two  sick  men  whom  she  saw 
here  have  gone  to  their  long  home.     Brother  Harris 


died  very  suddenly  on  Wednesday  evening,  and  Storer, 
whom  we  tlionglit  dying  Sabbatli  evening,  lived  until 
Tuesday  morning.  Both  as  we  trust  fell  asleep  in 
Jesus.*  Sabbath  eveniug  Storer  sent  for  Josiah  and 
myself  to  visit  him.  We  found  him  in  the  most  delight- 
ful state  of  mind,  calm  in  view  of  death,  his  trust  and 
confidence  in  Christ  firm  and  unwavering.  His  only 
earthly  care  was  a  crippled  mother  whom  he  had 
supported  for  several  years.  *  He  must  now  leave  her 
to  the  care  of  his  heavenly  Father.'  Josiah  prayed 
with  him,  and  then  we  bade  him  adieu,  shaking  hands 
with  him  as  if  he  was  going  a  short  journey.  It  was  a 
solemn  scene.  Being  nearly  midnight  almost  every 
one  was  in  bed  in  the  house  except  those  appointed  to 
watch  with  the  sick.  But  there  were  some  whose  ears 
were  attentive  to  the  conversation  and  the  prayer,  and 
I  hope  the  scene  will  not  be  lost  on  them.  Storer  was  a 
member  of  the  Mariner's  Church,  (Mr.  Lord's,)  and 
came  here  from  the  Sailor's  Home.  I  had  often  con- 
versed with  and  sent  him  some  little  extra  comforts,  for 
which  he  seemed  very  grateful.  Before  he  died  he 
blessed  us  for  our  kindness  to  him.  Oh,  mother  !  it  was 
siveet  to  have  the  blessing  of  a  dying  sailor  a  child  of 
God,  just  ready  to  wing  his  flight  to  his  everlasting 
home.  Josiah  wrote  a  very  kind  letter  to  his  poor 
mother,  from  whom  he  received  an  answer  this  morning. 
Though  much  afflicted,  she  seems  resigned  to  the  will 
of  God.  His  remains  are  to  be  sent  home.  Brother 
Harris  is  the  colored  man  whom  you  heard  me  speak  of. 
He  had  been  ill  a  long  time.  On  Wednesday  morning 
I  passed  some  time  with  him.  He  was  quite  comfort- 
able, though  very  feeble.     He  did  not  seem  more  so. 


however,  than  for  some  time  past.  His  faith  and  hope 
were  strong  in  the  blessed  Jesus.  After  conversing 
awhile  we  spoke  of  sudden  death.  He  remarked  that 
'  he  was  willing  Ms  should  be  just  as  God  saiv  best ;  but 
he  thought  it  ivould  he  a  2^^^ivil^g^  to  give  his  dying 
testimony  to  the  truth  of  the  religion  of  Jesus.'  I  left 
him,  bidding  him  and  others  in  the  room  good  morning, 
never  to  see  him  more  until  the  resurrection.  Had  I 
known  it  was  his  last  day  on  earth,  I  could  not  have 
left  him  ;  but  so  it  proved.  I  went  to  a  lecture  in  the 
evening,  and  when  I  returned  at  nine  o'clock  his  body 
was  in  its  coffin,  and  his  happy  spirit  had  gone  to  its 
blessed  mansion  above.  He  had  ruptured  a  blood  vessel 
while  coughing,  and  was  instantly  suffocated.  Happy 
brother !  what  a  Sabbath  of  blessedness  was  the  last  to 
thee.  No  more  pain  or  sin  to  disturb  thy  enjoyment, 
no  troublesome  cough  to  break  the  sweet  notes  of  praise 
to  redeeming  love.  He  was  very  fond  of  music,  and 
sung  his  sweet  hymns  as  long  as-he  was  able.  You 
don't  know  how  much  I  miss  him.  I  look  with  tears 
upon  his  empty  bed,  from  whence  he  used  to  look  into 
the  grave-yard,  and  see  those  who  were  deposited  there, 
and  think  of  his  own  coming  mortality.  But  the  grave 
had  no  terrors  for  him. 

*'  There  is  quite  an  attention  to  religion  in  our 
society.  Meetings  for  prayers  are  held  every  morning 
at  six  o'clock  and  every  evening  at  seven.  Our 
minister  and  church  are  making  great  efforts  to  save 
immortal  souls.  Some  few  are  already  rejoicing,  others 
are  earnestly  seeking  the  Saviour.  It  is  a  solemn 
time.  Husband  and  I  went  to  a  prayer-meeting  this 
morning  at  a  neighbor's  house.     There  were  two  rooms 

EIOGRAPIIY   OF   MRS.    LYDIA   B.    BACON.  165 

full  of  professors  of  religion,  and  a  few  anxious  sinners. 
It  was  good  to  be  there.  We  returned  just  as  tlie  sun 
arose.  Our  minister,  (Mr.  Langworthy,)  is  very  faithful 
and  devoted,  and  willing  to  spend  and  be  spent  that 
souls  may  be  saved.  But  he  wants  his  church  to  work 
with  him  and  stay  up  his  hands.  *  Oh,'  said  he,  the 
other  day,  when  speaking  to  Christians,  '  do  any  thing 
else,  but  do  not,  oh,  do  not  send  your  minister  to  the 
battle  alone  P  Eev.  Mr.  Towne  is  to  preach  to  us  this 
evening.  Good-bye,  dear  mother,  and  don't  forget  to 
pray  for 

"  Your  unworthy, 

''  Lydia." 

To  the  same. 

'^  February  12,  1S42. 
''I  suppose  my  dear  mother  and  sisters  would  like  a 
few  lines  this  morning,  and  indeed  I  feel  like  filling  out 
a  sheet.  My  last  would  lead  you  to  expect  interesting 
intelligence.  We  live  at  a  wonderful  period.  The 
Lord  is  doing  a  great  work,  not  only  in  our  midst  but 
all  around  us,  and  in  our  beloved  native  city.  Christians 
are  beginning  to  feel  their  responsibility  and  the  duty 
of  laboring  for  the  salvation  of  perishing  souls.  They 
see  that  they  must  not  hide  their  talents,  or  be  found 
sleeping  when  Christ  has  said,  '  watch  and  pray.'  The 
spirit  of  the  Lord  is  evidently,  in  answer  to  prayer,  fol- 
lowing the  impenitent  to  their  hiding  places,  and 
bringing  them  under  the  influence  of  the  gospel.  We 
have  in  our  society  converts  from  the  Unitarians  and 
Universalists,  renouncing  their  errors  and  sitting  at  the 
feet  of  a  divine  Eedeemer  clothed  and  in  their  right 

166  BIOGRAPHY   OF   MRS.    LYDIA   B.    BACON. 

mind.  Oh,  what  a  privilege  to  be  permitted  to  witness 
another  revival  of  religion  !  Oh,  what  a  slothful,  un- 
worthy servant  I  am.  Tliis  is  a  time  to  try  tie  hopes  of 
professors.  How  can  we  flatter  ourselves  that  we  are 
the  children  of  God  and  bought  with  the  Saviour's 
precious  blood,  if  we  are  unwilling  to  labor  in  bringing 
poor  sinners  into  his  kingdom  ?  Could  we  fully  realize 
for  one  moment  the  value  of  the  never-dying  soul,  we 
could  not  be  so  lukewarm,  so  careless.  What  infinite 
mercy  is  that  which  spares  us,  and  permits  us  to  be  co- 
workers with  God  in  such  a  glorious  cause.  Oh,  that 
we  may  henceforth  '  redeem  the  time,  knowing  that  now 
it  is  high  time  to  awake  out  of  sleep.'  I  think  much  of 
Sandwich,  and  pray  that  the  Spirit  may  be  poured  out 
in  your  midst.  S.  D.  and  Mrs.  N.  are  feasting  npon 
the  good  time  here ;  perhaps  they  will  get  their  hearts 
warm  and  return  to  bless  Sandwich.  Oh,  Christians 
there  must  not  live  so  stupid  any  longer.  Think  how 
many  young  people  are  in  your  midst  going  on  in  folly 
and  vanity  and  stumbling  over  careless  professors  into 
deep,  irremediless  ruin. 

"  14:t7i.  Last  Saturday  Mrs.  F.  came  and  spent  the 
Sabbath  with  us.  I  wished  her  to  stay  longer  ;  but  her 
mother  is  almost  confined  to  her  room,  and  she  thought 
it  not  best  to  leave  her  longer.  Our  meetings  were 
delightful  to  her.  She  appears  to  me  more  lovely  than 
ever,  and  bears  her  trouble  with  Christian  fortitude. 
She  says  she  has  long  felt  the  desolations  of  Zion  at 
Sandwich,  and  thinks  there  must  be  something  done. 
Why  cannot  the  sisters  meet  and  unite  their  prayers  for 
their  pastor  and  brethren,  that  God  would  pour  out  his 
spirit  on  him  and  them.     Don't  wait  to  feel  melted  and 


fervent,  "but  pray  notv  for  tlie  Holy  Gliost  to  bc'  sent 
into  your  hearts.  I  have  not  the  least  doubt  if  you 
will  do  this  you  will  very  soon  see  a  different  state  of 
things  in  your  midst.  Do  try  it,  trusting  in  the 
promises  of  God  to  those  who  seek  him. 

"  Have  you  heard  of  Mr.  D 's  conversion  ?     I 

should  like  to  give  you  the  particulars.  He  was  brought 
up  in  Portland,  under  Dr.  Payson^s  ministry,  and  had  a 
pious  mother,  but  was  not  inclined  at  all  to  serious 
things.  Mr.  Bacon  and  myself  have  both  conversed 
with  him  on  the  subject  of  religion  at  different  times, 
but  not  much  since  the  commencement  of  the  revival 
here.  About  two  weeks  since,  in  general  conversation, 
he  remarked  that  he  had  not  shed  a  tear  for  many 
months.  '  Well,'  said  I,  '  I  hope  soon  to  see  you  weeping 
for  your  sins,'  and  looking  very  earnestly  at  him  I 
added,  '  for  I  cannot,  no  I  cannot  give  you  up.'  He  im- 
mediately left  the  room.  A  week  passed  away,  and  as 
I  sat  in  the  morning  prayer-meeting,  the  thought  oc- 
curred to  mo,  what  if  eve7\i/  one  present  were  to  bring  one 
impenitent  friend  to  the  meeting  tomorrow?  "Whom 
shall  Z  invite?  was  the  next  question.  My  thoughts 
instantly  turned  to  3fr.  D.,  and  I  resolved  to  invite  him. 
When  I  returned  home  he  ivas  the  first  'person  I  met,  and 
I  gave  him  an  earnest  invitation,  whicli  he  immediately 
answered  in  the  affirmative.  Nothing  more  was  said, 
but  at  the  appointed  hour  next  morning  Mr.  D.  was  in 
the  parlor  waiting  for  us.  As  we  started  for  the  place 
of  prayer,  he  observed  that  ^he  didnU  wish  people  to 
think  he  was  serious,  for  he  was  not.^  He  then  added, 
*  perhaps  he  had  better  not  go,  if  it  would  lead  any  one 
to  think  him  serious,  though  if  he  were  he  should  not 

1G8  CIOGRAPnY   OF   MES.   LYDIA   B.    BACON. 

be  asliamcd  of  it/  I  replied  tliat  '  he  need  not  feel 
troubled  about  that ;  I  should  doubtless  be  asked  why 
he  came,  but  should  say  it  was  at  my  invitation.'  So 
he  went  with  me.  But  although  it  was  the  Sabbath  he 
would  not  attend  meeting  through  the  day,  but  went 
off  to  Boston  to  divert  his  mind  by  calling  upon  a  friend. 
He  did  not  find  him,  and  then  went  to  Charlestown : 
but  here  also  he  was  disappointed,  and  so  returned  to 

the  Hospital.     At  our  six  o'clock  meeting  Capt.  T 

talked  to  the  sailors  in  a  most  faithful  manner.  Mr. 
D.  was  present,  and  evidently  very  uneasy :  the  spirit  of 
the  Lord  striving  with  him,  and  he  trying  to  resist  it. 
After  this  meeting  was  over,  Josiah  and  myself  went  to 
our  evening  meeting  at  the  Chapel.  Mr.  D.  concluded  to 
go  to  the  Methodist  meeting,  but  resolved  to  deep  through 
the  services,  and  for  this  purpos }  leaned  his  head  upon 
the  top  of  the  pew.  But  it  was  all  in  vain  ;  his  distress 
of  mind  increased  until  he  could  bear  it  no  lono-er.  He 
left  the  meeting,  and  resolved  to  seek  my  husband  or 
Mr.  Langworthy,  and  make  known  his  feelings.  Seeing 
the  lights  at  our  Chapel,  he  came  directly  there.  Our 
minister  was  addressing  inquirers,  after  which  with  a 
short  prayer  he  dismissed  the  meeting.  Mr.  D.  came 
immediately  to  him  and  requested  conversation.  I  was 
standing  by  Mr.  Langworthy,  and  could  hardly  believe 
my  eyes  as  I  saw  my  friend  shaking  like  an  aspen  leaf, 
and  his  eyes  bathed  in  tears.  I  left  him  with  Mr.  L. 
and  my  husband,  and  retired  thinking  of  the  discij^les 
of  old  who  had  been  praying  that  Peter  might  be  re- 
leased from  prison,  and  yet  when  he  was  actually 
brought  to  their  door  could  not  believe  it  was  he.  Well 
may  our  Lord  say  to  his  followers,  '  Oh,  ye  of  little 

BIOGRAPHY   OP   MRS.    LYDIA    B.    BACON.  1G9 

faith.'  Mr.  D.  remained  at  the  Chapel  until  ten 
o'clock,  while  Mr.  L,  talked  and  prayed  with  him. 
When  he  came  home  he  followed  Josiah  to  our  room,  and 
coming  up  to  me  with  streaming  eyes  said,  '  Well,  Mrs. 
Bacon,  you  wished  to  see  me  weeping  for  sin  ;  you  can 
now  be  gratified,  for  I  have  clone  nothing  else  the  whole 
evening.'  I  took  his  hand  with  joy,  and  we  wept,  con- 
versed and  prayed  together.  At  length  we  left  him  in 
the  parlor  to  pray  for  himself.  When  I  called  for  him 
the  next  morning,  at  his  request,  to  accompany  me  to 
the  prayer-meeting,  I  found  him  asleep  in  his  chair, 
with  his  Bible  by  his  side.  He  awoke  calm  and  peace- 
ful, resolved  to  devote  his  remaining  days  to  the  service 
of  his  rightful  Lord.  He  appears  well ;  his  views  and 
feelings  are  entirely  changed ;  he  delights  in  religious 
duties,  and  is  anxious  for  the  salvation  of  others.  Oh  ! 
the  wonders  of  sovereign  grace.  AYell  may  we  exclaim, 
what  hath  God  wrought !  I  hope  to  give  you  more  of 
this  good  news  in  my  next. 

"  Yours  ever  affectionately, 

"  Lydia  Bacon." 

To  Mrs.  T ,  at  Sandwich. 

"March  7th,  1842. 
"My  dear  Sister: — The  date  of  my  letter  reminds 
me  of  the  march  of  tiinc,  whicli  has  fled  so  rapidly  the 
past  year  that  I  cannot  realize  what  has  become  of  it. 
What  an  eventful  year  it  has  been  to  us  both  as  a 
nation  and  as  individuals.  Oh,  that  God  would  in 
mercy  give  our  rulers  wisdom,  that  they  might  rule 
this  nation  in  the  fear  of  God.  Although  much  evil  is 
abroad  in  the  world,  yet  how  mercifully  is  the  Lord 

170  BIOGRAPHY   OF   MRS.    LYDIA   B.    BACON. 

pouring  out  of  the  spirit  in  all  parts  of  our  beloved 
country.  Many  who  were  engaged  in  open  wickedness, 
many  wlio  scoffed  at  the  name  and  worship  of  God  are 
now  sitting  at  the  feet  of  Jesus,  learning  his  blessed 
precepts  with  hearts  filled  with  love  to  their  Saviour 
and  to  all  around.  This  is  traly  wonderful,  and  proves 
the  gospel  to  be  indeed  the  power  of  God. 

"  Last  Friday  I  was  present  in  the  city  at  one  of  Mr. 

K 's  prayer-meetings,  where  I  heard  a  Mr.  E.  relate 

his  experience.  One  week  ago  he  was  an  open  infidel, 
despising  the  Saviour  and  hating  his  followers.  His 
account  of  himself  was  thrilling  in  the  extreme.  The 
sixth  chapter  of  Micah  and  the  tenth  of  Eomans  were 
the  Scriptures  that  were  blessed  to  his  conversion.  He 
compared  the  love  to  Christ  which  filled  his  soul  to  an 
overflowing  river.  Oh,  what  a  change  was  this  ;  and 
his  is  one  of  many  such  which  are  almost  daily  occurring. 
Mr.  E's  impenitent  brother  was  in  the  house  while  he 
was  relating  his  experience,  and  it  would  have  melted 
your  heart  to  have  seen  and  heard  him  plead  with  him 
to  love  the  Saviour.  Every  eye  was  wet,  as  in  an  agony 
of  emotion  he  besought  him  to  flee  from  the  wrath  to 
come.  It  was  a  solemn  scene  to  look  around  and  see 
five  or  six  hundred  people  leaving  their  worldly  cares  at 
nine  o'clock  in  the  morning,  in  the  midst  of  this  gay 
city,  to  attend  to  the  concerns  of  tlieir  souls.  But  when 
I  considered  the  importance  of  the  work  in  which  they 
were  engaged,  the  world's  pursuits  sunk  into  insignifi- 
cance. We  were  transacting  business  for  eternity,  busi- 
ness that  angels  were  watching  with  intense  interest, 
while  they  waited  to  carry  to  lieaven  the  news  that 
sinners  were  repenting. 

BIOGRAPHY   OF   MRS.    LYDIA   B.    BACON.  171 

"  S.  D.  will  give  you  many  particulars  which  I  have  not 
time  to  write.  She  stayed  two  days  with  us,  and  wo 
often  conversed  together  respecting  the  state  of  tilings 
in  Sandwich,  for  we  have  not  lost  our  interest  in  that 
sweet  village.     We  often  spoke  of  you,  and  wished  you 

were  here  to  enjoy  the  meeting.     She  and  Mrs.  N 

have  returned  to  Sandwich,  I  trust  with  their  lamps 
trimmed  and  burning.  I  am  sorry  that  your  minister 
is  going  away  ;  I  fear  you  will  not  get  another  soon.  I 
must  say  that  I  never  had  a  minister  who  in  all  things 

suited  me  so  exactly  as  our  Mr.  L ,  and  hushand  is 

of  the  same  opinion.  Our  little  chapel  is  already  full, 
and  the  revival  still  continues.  Yesterday  vras  our 
communion,  and  a  most  interesting  occasion.  Several 
were  added  to  the  church,  which  has  been  the  case 
every  communion  season  since  we  organized.  Our 
morning  prayer-meetings  are  still  continued. 

•'  We  are  very  sorry  that  mother  did  not  get  the 
things  we  sent.  Josiah  bought  them  and  gave  them  to 
the  carrier  with  many  charges.  Shall  you  not  be  able 
to  make  us  a  visit  soon  ?  '  The  time  of  the  singing  of 
birds  has  come,'  and  the  spring  is  advancing.  AVe  have 
much  to  enjoy,  but  I  am  sorry  to  add  that  my  health  is 
poor.  My  side  troubles  me  exceedingly,  and  aches  so 
badly  that  it  hurts  me  to  write.  My  appetite  is  good, 
and  I  sleep  well,  but  cannot  eat  much  without  hurting 
me.  I  think  something  serious  must  be  the  matter, 
and  my  iinpression  is  that  I  ought  to  be  ready  for  a 
sudden  summons  to  another  ivorld.  Oh,  that  I  may  be 
well  prepared,  then  no  matter  how  soon  or  how  suddenly 
my  call  shall  come. 

172  BIOaRAPHY  OF  MRS.   LYDIA   B.    BACON. 

"  Mrs.  H is  in  tlie  city ;  I  shall  expect  lier  to 

make  me  a  visit  as  slie  promised  ere  slie  returns.     Mr. 

D is   well,   and   sends   liis   respects  to  you.     He 

appears  well,  and  is  a  faithful  worker  in  the  good  cause. 
He  has  it  in  his  power  to  do  a  great  deal  of  good  in 
this  house.  Here  is  every  variety  of  character,  and 
much  wisdom  as  well  as  faithfulness  is  needed. 

"  Love  to  all  friends.  Let  us  hear  from  you  soon. 
Josiah  sends  much  love  to  you  and  dear  mother.  Good- 
bye, my  dear  sister. 

''  Your  affectionate, 

"  L.  B.  Bacon." 

To  Mrs.  M.  S.,  of  Sandwich. 

''  Chelsea,  3farch  26,  1842. 
<'  Through  the  goodness  of  God,  my  dear  sister,  I 
am  once  more  permitted  to  address  you.  Although  it 
is  some  time  since  I  have  written,  think  not  it  is  be- 
cause I  love  or  think  of  you  less  than  I  ever  did.  No ; 
my  thoughts  are  often  with  you,  and  I  can  imagine  how 
happy  you  must  be  that  your  prayers  are  answered  with 
respect  to  Theodore.  What  a  blessing  that,  ere  he 
he  leaves  his  home  entirely,  he  should  have  found  the 
pearl  of  great  price.  I  trust  he  may  bo  a  burning  and 
shining  light,  and  that  his  example  may  allure  others 
to  the  Saviour.  Especially  do  I  hope  that  his  two 
young  sisters  may  become  interested  in  the  great  salva- 
tion. I  cannot  think  it  possible  that  they  will  longer 
withhold  their  hearts  from  Christ,  who  is  calling  after 
them  with  infinite  tenderness,  waiting  till  '  his  head  is 
wet  with  the  dew,  and  his  locks  with  the  drops  of  the 

BIOGRAPHY   OF   MRS.    LYDIA   B.    BACOX.  173 

morning.'  Tell  Anna  that  Caroline  G.  and  Sophia  M. 
have  both,  I  trust,  consecrated  their  young  affections  to 
GolI.  I  received  a  visit  from  them  the  other  day  ;  they 
are  tine  girls,  and  hid  fair  to  he  a  blessing  to  their 
friends  and  to  the  world.  Oh,  how  delightful  to  see  the 
dear  youth  devoting  themselves  to  the  service  of  their 
heavenly  Father.  AVe  have  a  number  of  such  here, 
who  have  taken  God  at  his  word  and  have  proved  his 
promise  true :  '  Those  that  seek  me  early  shall  find  me.' 
God's  glorious  work  of  saving  souls  is  still  progressing ^ 
both  here  and  in  the  city.  I  understand  there  is  quite 
a  work  of  grace  also  in  Sandw^ich.  I  think  S.  D.  will 
enjoy  it.  After  witnessing  the  good  times  here  and  in 
the  cit}^,  she  almost  dreaded  to  return  to  S.  But  the 
Lord  has  been  better  to  her  than  her  fears,  and  she  is 
now  rejoicing  in  the  manifestation  of  his  grace  at  home. 
May  her  dear  brothers  be  partakers  in  this  blessing. 

Mr.  J.  M ,  who  visited  us  awhile  ago,  informed  us 

of  some  very  interesting  cases.  How  is  it  with  your 
dear  girls  ?  and  how  with  Susan  N.?  I  do  hope  and 
pray  that  Mrs.  N.  may  have  the  satisfaction  of  seeing 
Tier  only  dangJiter  become  a  follower  of  tlie  Lord  Jesus 
Christ.  I  received  a  letter  from  Frances  some  time 
since,  and  send  it  for  your  perusal.  I  shall  endeavor  to 
have  an  answer  ready  to  send  by  Theodore  wdien  he 

"  When  will  you  come  up  and  make  us  a  good  visit? 
How  is  Mary's  health  ?     I  am  anxious  to  hear.     Give 

my  love  to  all  the  girls,  including  M a.     Have  any 

of  her  children  yet  chosen  the  good  part  ?     Do  write 
and  tell  me  how  it  is  with  them.     I  hope  all  the  dear 
children  in  our  families  will  become  the   children  of 


God.  Mr.  Kirk  is  still  preacliing  in  Boston ;  lie  is  a 
most  excellent  preacher  in  every  sense  of  tlie  word,  but 
no  letter  tlian  our  oivn  dear  minister  after  all.  Mr.  K. 
preaches  every  evening  in  the  week  except  Wednesday 
and  Friday. 

"  How  is  your  health,  dear  sister  ?  and  how  are  you 

enjoying  yourself?     I  often  think  how  pleasant  it  would 

he  could  you  all  come  in  and  spend  the  day  with  me.     I 

hope  if  we  live  until  summer  we  shall  see  you  and 

enjoy  some  delightful  visits  together,     ^wilnuikeno 

calculation  upon  any  thing  earthly  in  the  future,  not 

knowing  what  a  day  may  bring  forth.     Death  comes  so 

sudden   that  we  cannot  call  a   moment  ours  but  the 

'present ;  and  that  is  gone  ere  we  can  seize  it.     How  it 

becomes  us  to  be  prepared  for  the  final  summons,  come 

when   or   how   it  may.     Oh,  for  that  faith  in  Christ 

which  is  the  substance  of  things  hoped  for,  the  evidence 

of  things  not  seen.     This  only  can  disarm  death  of  its 

sting  and  the  grave  of  its  victory.     We  have  but  few 

patients  in  the  house  at  present,  and  these  not  very 

sick.     One  little  boy  only  thirteen  died  last  week  of 

typhus  fever.     He  was  very  sick  when  he  was  brought 

here,  and  we  could  only  learn  that  his  mother  was  dead 

and  his  father  far  away.     He  had  the  best  possible  care  ; 

every  one  pitied  him  ;  but  we  could  not  save  him,  for 

his  time  had  come.     Poor  little  fellow !     He  made  his 

grave  among  strangers,  but  was  not  buried  umvejyt.     I 

often  think  when  we  are  consigning  the  poor  unknown 

sailor  to  his  last  resting-place,  how  touching  is  that 

eastern  benediction,  '  May  you  die  among  your  kindred.' 

**  Give  my  love  to  old  lady  Fessenden  and  husband, 

BIOGRAPHY   OF  MRS.    LYDIA   B.    BACON.  175 

and  Mrs.  M.     Eemembcr  me  affectionately  to  Theodore, 
and  do  write  me  soon. 

"  Yours  ever  truly, 

''  Lydia  B.  Bacox.'^ 

To  Mrs.  H.  B.,  of  Sackett's  Harbor. 

''  Chelsea,  April  2d,  1842. 

"  My  very  dear  Sister  Harriot : — I  had  indeed  almost 
begun  to  think  that  you  were  very  sick,  on  account  of 
your  long  delay  in  answering  my  last  letter.  I  had 
just  concluded  to  write  to  Mrs.  G-.  C,  thinking  I  might 
elicit  an  answer  from  her,  and  thus  learn  something  of 
yourself  and  other  dear  friends  at  the  Harbor.  I  used 
to  hear  most  frequently  from  my  dear  Elizabeth  B.;  but 
I  should  think  it  is  now  nearly  two  years  since  I  have 
received  a  letter  from  her.  Indeed,  she  has  written  me 
but  once  since  she  visited  me  in  Boston.  Oh,  how  sweet 
is  the  remembrance  of  that  visit.  With  my  beloved 
Sabbath  scholar  and  her  dear  husband  we  walked 
around  my  native  city,  visited  the  institutions  at  South 
Boston  and  trod  the  solemn  walks  of  Mount  Auburn. 
That  visit  was  a  sunny  spot  in  my  pilgrimage.  What 
can  be  the  reason  that  Elizabeth  does  not  write  me  ? 
I  cannot  think  she  and  her  husband  have  forgotten  me. 
Eemember  me  most  affectionately  to  them. 

''  It  was  while  pondering  sadly  upon  the  silence  of 
dear  friends  at  the  Harbor  that  I  received  your  letter, 
addressed  in  your  husband^s  well  known  hand.  A 
quick  glance  at  the  red  seal,  (giving  no  indications  of 
bereavement,)  re-assured  me,  and  breaking  it  open,  I 
soon  eagerly  devoured  its  contents.     As  I  read,  how  did 

176  BIOGRAPHY   OF   MRS.    LYDIA   B.    BACON. 

scenes  long  past  come  up  in  review  before  me,  mingled 
witli  the  image  of  dear  ones  now  inhabiting  mansions 
of  eternal  blessedness.  My  heart  was  grateful  that  you 
were  still  spared  and  in  the  enjoyment  of  so  many 
blessings.  I  thank  you  for  the  joyful  intelligence  that 
if  our  lives  are  spared  we  may  expect  a  visit  from  you 
this  summer.  Is  it  possible,  dear  Harriet,  that  you  and 
I  may  meet  once  more  tliis  side  of  the  eternal  world  ? 
May  we  once  more  mingle  our  prayers  together,  once 
more  recount  together  the  mercies  of  our  heavenly 
Father,  and  go  to  the  house  of  God  again  in  company  ? 
I  will  dare  to  hope  for  it,  although  this  as  well  as  all 
other  events  in  the  future  must  be  left  in  liis  hands  who 
seeth  the  end  from  the  beginning,  and  will  do  all  things 
well.  Should  we  be  disappointed,  oh  may  '  we  meet  at 
Jesus'  feet  to  part  no  more  !' 

"  April  QtJu     My  niece  S — —  B ,  who  was  born 

in  the  same  chamber  whore  your  beloved  Harriet  first 
saw  the  light,  has  been  at  Hartford  this  winter  visiting 
my  husband's  sister,  who  married  a  Baptist  minister 
and  is  settled  in  that  place.     After  I  learned  that  your 

dear  Harriet  was  there  at  school,  I  requested  S to 

call  upon  her  and  make  her  acquaintance.  Last  even- 
ing S returned,  and  I  hope  to  see  her  ere  I  close 

this  letter.  We  have  now  been  in  our  present  situation 
nearly  a  year.  We  find  it  quite  pleasant,  although 
surrounded  by  disease  and  death.  For  it  is  a  satisfac- 
tion to  see  the  poor,  sick,  weary  sailor  find  a  place  of 
rest  where  the  body  and  soul  can  both  be  cared  for. 
Many  of  our  patients  are  without  friends ;  some  of  them 
arc  parentless;  some  have  lost  their  mother  while 
young,  and  were  cast  into  the  wide  world  without  any 

BIOGRAPHY   OF   MRS.    LYDIA    B.    EACOX.  177 

preparation  to  meet  the  storms  of  vice  and  temptation 
wliicli  assail  the  inexperienced  mariner.  We  have  had 
some  most  interesting  cases  of  those  who  have  died  in 
the  triumphs  of  faith,  hlessing  ns  and  praising  God 
with  their  dying  hrcath.  Their  memory  is  precious. 
One  was  a  colored  hrother-'  who  was  here  four  months 
with  consumption.  He  could  not  read,  and  was  so 
thankful  to  any  one  who  would  read  the  Bible  and 
other  good  books  to  him.  I  often  went  into  his  room 
txud  read  and  talked  with  him,  and  never  returned 
without  feeling  that  I  had  been  myself  a  learner.  How 
delightful  was  it  to  witness  his  resignation  to  death,  and 
his  faith  in  his  '  blessed  Lord,'  as  he  always  called  him. 
AYhen  I  see  you  I  will  tell  you  more  about  him  and 

"I  am  glad  to  hear  that  your  society  is  doing  so  well. 
The  meeting-house  must  look  much  better  for  the  new 
fixtures.  Oh,  that  dear  meeting-house !  how  many 
happy  hours  have  I  passed  in  it.  Aye,  and  in  the  little 
school-house  too.  How  many  important  events  in  my 
experience  are  connected  with  it.  There  our  little 
church  was  first  gathered  and  the  Sabbath  school 
instituted,  and  there  2ve  first  covenanted  to  love  and 
serve  God.  There  too  we  listened  to  our  dear  pastor, 
Mr.  Boyd,  and  other  faithful  servants  of  Christ,  and 
mutually  labored  and  studied  in  that  precious  Bible 

"  Since  we  have  been  here  an  Orthodox  Congrega- 
tional church  and  society  have  been  formed,  a  chapel 
built,    a   minister   settled,    a    Sabbath    school,    female 

*  Brother  Harris,  spoken  of  in  a  former  letter. 

178  BIOGRAPHY   OF   MRS.    LYDIA   B.    BACON. 

prayer-mooting  and  maternal  association  formed,  and  a 
sewing  circle  established.  All  tins  was  accomplislied  in 
six  months,  and  the  sewing-circle  has  paid  for  the 
carpet,  lamps,  table,  chairs  and  curtains  for  the  chapel. 
We  liave  had  a  blessed  revival  of  religion  this  winter 
past ;  it  has  been  a  glorioiis  work  both  here  and  in  the 
city.  Sandwich  also  is  sharing  in  such  a  blessing,  and 
some  of  my  own  Sabbath  scholars  there  are  among  the 
subjects.  I  do  not  teach  a  class  in  our  church  here,  as 
I  think  my  spare  time  on  Sabbath  ought  to  be  employed 
in  teaching  the  poor  colored  sailors  in  the  Hospital 
They  cannot  even  read  for  themselves,  and  they  appear 
grateful  for  such  instruction  as  I  can  bestow.  I  feel 
that  my  post  is  as  truly  7nissionari/  ground  as  India  or 
Africa.  But  I  hope  you  will  be  soon  able  to  judge  for 
yourself.  Husband  joins  me  in  love  to  you  and  your 
husband,  and  bids  me  say  that  nothing  could  give  him 
more  pleasure  than  to  welcome  you  here.  My  dear 
mother  is  comfortable  in  her  eighty-first  year. 

''  April  dth.     I  have  seen  my  niece  S B . 

She  found  your  dear  Harriet,  who  boards  with  an 
acquaintance  of  mine.  S gives  an  interesting  ac- 
count of  their  interview,  and  of  the  school  examination 
at  which  she  was  present.  Harriet  has  the  name  of  a 
first-rate  scholar.     Adieu,  dear  sister,  till  we  meet. 

*'  Your  own 

"  L.  B.  Bacon.'^ 

To  her  Mother. 

"  Chelsea,  May  2d,  1842. 
"  ^ly  dear  Mother : — You  say  that  you  have  written 
me  four  letters  to  my  one.     It  may  be  so,  but  just  think 

BIOGRAPHY   OF   MRS.    LYDIA   B.    BACON.  170 

hoiv  very  sliort  your  letters  are,  while  mine  lire  as  long 
as  the  Catecliisra.  It  troubles  mj  side  to  write  as  mucli 
as  I  would  like  to,  and  I  have  many  cares,  and  constant 

interruptions.     Mrs.  H passed  last  week  with  me : 

ere  she  left,  E came  ;    Saturday  Mr,  H arrived, 

and  will  take  E home  with  him  on  Wednesday.     It 

is  a  fortniolit  since  she  came,  and  it  would  be  verv 
pleasant  for  her  and  for  us  if  she  could  stay  a  fortnight 
longer  ;  but  I  suppose  she  is  wanted  at  home.  I  had  a 
delightful  visit  from  Mrs.  H ;  she  is  a  charming  wo- 
man. Sarah  T.  passed  a  night  with  us  while  her  aunt 
was  here. 

"  3fay  3(7.  Last  Sabbath  was  a  most  interesting  day 
here.  Seven  were  added  to  this  church  by  letter,  and 
thirty-two  by  profession,  many  of  whom  received  bap- 
tism. A  number  of  infants  were  also  consecrated  to 
God  by  believing  parents.  It  was  a  goodly  sight  to 
see  whole  families  dedicated  to  the  Lord.  A  number  of 
quite  young  people  were  received  to  our  watch  and  care. 
Among  them  w^re  two  little  girls  :  one  nine  and  the 
ether  fourteen,  who,  although  young,  gave  such  good 
evidence  of  a  change  of  heart,  and  were  so  desirous  to 
be  joined  to  God's  professing  people  that  it  was  thought 
best  to  admit  them.  Our  chapel  was  crowded  on  the 
occasion.  Susan  N.  and  Frances  W.  came  over  to  the 
meeting.  Both  appeared  deeply  affected,  although  their 
feelino-s  doubtless  were  verv  different.  One  seemed  to 
feel  the  necessity  of  repentance  and  faith  ;  the  other 
washed  to  show  hers  by  an  open  profession  of  the  Lord 
Jesus  Christ  as  her  Saviour.  Mr.  Langworthy  was  very 
plain  and  affectionate  in  his  address  to  the  impenitent 
at  the  close  of  the  services,  and  followed  his  remarks  bv 

180  BIOGRAPHY   OF   MRS.    LYDIA   B.    BACON. 

commending  them  to  God  in  fervent  prayer  I  think  I 
never  enjoyed  a  communion  season  better,  never  had 
clearer  views  of  the  love  and  preciousness  of  Christ. 
Surely  all  must  be  convinced  of  their  individual  duty  to 
love  and  serve  him  who  has  died  to  redeem  them. 

"  One  hundred  and  seventeen  were  added  to  Mr. 
Towne's  church  in  the  city.  Among  them  was  a  young 
seaman,  hopefully  converted  while  in  our  Hospital, 
o  o  o  ^f\[Q  are  much  obliged  for  the  plants  you  sent 
us.  They  are  set  out  in  fine  order,  and  will  be  all  the 
better  coming  from  your  garden.  We  shall  have  a 
beautiful  garden  this  summer,  Providence  permitting. 
Josiah  is  very  much  and  j)leasantly  engaged  in  cultiva- 
ting the  land  belonging  to  the  Hospital,  of  which  there 
are  ten  acres.  Every  thing  tells,  because  there  has 
never  been  any  improvement  before.     I  received  a  long, 

good  letter  from ,  and  rejoice  with  her  that 

A has  chosen  that  good  part  which  shall  never  be 

taken  away  from  her.  Oh,  that  H also  would  be- 
come pious.     Josiah  sends  love  w^ith  mine. 

"  Your  affectionate  child, 

"  L.  B.  Bacon.'' 

To  the  same. 

"  Chelsea,  Jem.  2oth,  1843. 
"  My  dear  Mother  : — It  gives  me  great  pleasure  to 
hear  you  are  so  comfortably  situated.  Truly,  you  can 
say  your  last  days  are  your  best,  and  that  not  only  in 
temporal  but  in  spiritual  things.  I  trust  you  are  grow- 
ing in  grace  and  in  the  knowledge  of  God  your  Saviour. 
This,  it  seems  to  me,  you  have  great  facilities  for  doing. 
True,  you  cannot  hear  the  word  of  God  preached,  and 

BIOGKAniY   OF   MRS.    LYDIA   B.    BACON.  181 

tliis,  I  know,  is  a  great  deprivation ;  but  you  have  the 
Bible  and  many  good  books,  with  time  and  health  to 
read  them  ;  a  quiet  and  pleasant  room,  a  good  fire,  and 
leisure  to  indulge  in  your  favorite  pursuits ;  and  besides 
can  enjoy  the  society  of  your  children.  Let  us  praise 
the  Lord  for  all  his  goodness  to  you  and  to  us.  I  saw 
sister  Anna  last  week  and  had  a  very  pleasant  but  short 
interview  ;  she  has  promised  to  pass  a  day  with  me 
soon.  Our  church  and  society  have  commenced  to  build 
a  new  meeting-house ;  the  little  chapel  which  we  built 
a  year  ago  is  full  to  overflowing,  and  the  numbers  which 
crowd  to  hear  the  gospel  seem  to  cry  '  Give  us  room.' 
So  we  have  moved  the  chapel  to  the  rear  of  the  lot, 
where  it  will  make  us  a  very  convenient  vestry.  Last 
Sabbath  we  had  no  meeting  of  our  own  on  account  of 
this  removal,  so  we  had  to  feed  in  our  neighbors' 
pastures.  I  went  to  the  3f&thodists,  and  was  fed  with 
living  bread. 

"  Brother  made  us  a  very  short  visit ;  I  did  not  like 
it  that  we  saw  so  little  of  him.     And  Hooker  did  not 

call  at   all,  which  I  much  regretted.     His  Aunt 

was  hero,  and  wished  much  to  see  him.  She  spent  two 
nights  with  me,  and  I  enjoyed  her  visit  much.  I  love 
to  have  her  come ;  slie  seems  like  one  of  our  own 
family.  She  went  to  the  sewing-circle  with  me,  and 
seemed  to  enjoy  it.  It  was  a  pleasant  and  profitable 
occasion  ;  while  most  of  us  plied  the  busy  needle,  others 
took  their  turn  in  reading  aloud,  and  our  meeting  was 
closed  with  singing  and  prayer. 

"  Shall  I  give  you  a  sketch  of  my  engagements  and 
employments  for  one  week  ?  I  commence  with  Sabbath 

182  BIOGRAPHY   OF   MRS.   LYDIA   B.    BACON. 

morn.  I  atteiiclGcl  public  worship  all  clay  ;  visited  and 
instructed  my  colored  bible-class  at  intermission,  and  at 
six  o'clock  P.  M.  had  public  meeting  in  the  Hospital  for 
the  house  and  sailors,  and  any  neighbors  who  might 
drop  in.  These  last  are  very  interesting  meetings,  and 
fully  attended.  I  enjoy  them  very  much,  liaving  often 
wished  that  I  could  hear  pious  sailors  talk  and  pray. 
We  have  some  very  pious  and  gifted  sea-captains. 
Monday  I  visited  the  wards  as  usual ;  at  eleven  o'clock 
Mrs.  Nye  and  Susan  came  to  pass  the  day  v/ith  me.  At 
five  P.  M.,  just  before  they  left  for  Boston,  Miss  D.  came 
to  spend  the  night.  In  the  evening  the  young  men's 
meeting  was  held  here,  on  account  of  the  disarrange- 
ment of  our  chapel.     Tuesday  morning  I  made  some 

calls  with  S ;  in  the  afternoon  attended  the  female 

prayer-meeting,  and  in  the  evening  went  to  the  con- 
ference meeting.     After  this  meeting  was  over,  (it  being 
early,)  I  called  upon  a  sick  friend.     Wednesday  morn- 
ing fixed  S.  D.  off  to  the  city ;  at  twelve  Mrs.  Hooker 
came,  and  went  with  us  in  the  afternoon  to  South  Bos- 
ton to  attend  Mr.  Patton's  ordination.     Mr.  Langworthy 
accompanied  us.     Mrs.   H.   was  delighted  to  go  ;    she 
had  been  wishing  for  it,  but  never  dreamed  of  having 
so  favorable  an  opportunity.     The  services  were  of   a 
high  order :  the  weather  was  pleasant,  and  we  went  and 
returned  in  safety,  the  Lord  preserving  us.     Thursday 
Mr.  Cleveland  came  and  held  a  meeting  with  the  sailors, 
at  which  we  were  present.     Afterward  we  went  to  the 
sewing-circle,  where  we  spent  the  afternoon  and  evening. 
Friday  morning  I  accompanied  Mrs.  Hooker  to  Boston, 
spent  part  of  the  day  with  sister  Anna,  and  the  remain- 
der, until  five   o'clock,  with  Mrs.  Hall.     Eeturned  in 

BIOGRAPHY   OF   MRS.    LYDIA   B.    BACON.  183 

season  for  the  evening  meeting,  Avhicli,  (on  account  of 
the  cliapcl  not  being  in  a  condition  to  receive  us,)  was 
held  at  our  house.  Our  numbers  have  so  increased  that 
this  meeting  was  obliged  to  be  divided  into  three  bands, 
and  held  at  throe  different  places  at  the  same  hour. 
Satuiday  Mrs.  Hall  came  from  the  city  and  dined  with 
me,  after  which  I  made  several  calls  upon  the  sick  and 
the  stranger,  and,  returning  in  season  for  tea,  spent  the 
evening  alone.  Thus  was  my  week  employed,  and  this 
is  a  fair  sample  of  my  occupations,  except  that  I  have 
not  added  my  daily  visits  to  the  wards,  the  superintend- 
ence of  my  household  concerns,  the  care  of  my  own 
rooms,  and  considerable  sewino;  and  knittino\ 

"  Methinks  you  will  say,  '  if  Lydia  accomplishes  all 
this,  she  surely  need  not  complain  of  infirmity.'  Well, 
so  it  has  been  with  me  ever  since  I  can  remember: 
always  just  enough  to  do,  and  enough  of  something,  (I 
know  not  what,)  to  impel  me  to  do  it.  Tell  sister  Maria 
that  a  friend  of  hers,  by  the  name  of  Manning,  is  my 
nearest  neighbor.  She  is  a  very  lovely  woman,  and  has 
some  sweet  children.  Mr.  M.  I  have  not  yet  seen 
They  are  professors  of  religion  of  the  Baptist  denomi- 
nation. We  have  exchanged  calls,  and  Mrs.  M.  spoke 
very  affectionately  of  sister.  Maria  will  now  have  a 
double  inducement  to  visit  in  Chelsea.  Has  she  heard 
from  tlie  boys  lately  ?  Please  remember  me  with  great 
kindness  when  you  write  to  them.  My  love  to  you  all, 
in  which  my  dear  husband  heartily  joins. 

"  Dear  mother,  let  us  praise  the  Lord  for  all  his 
goodness  to  such  unworthy  sinners  as  we  are.  And  let 
us  endeavor  to  fill  up  all  our  time,  whether  longer  or 
shorter,   in  such  a  manner  as  to  glorify  him.     Then 

184  BIOGRAPHY   OF   MRS.    LYDIA   B.    BACON. 

shall  we  liavc  at  last  tlio  unspeakable  Messedness  of 
hearing  him  say,  '  Well  done,  good  and  faithful  servant ; 
enter  thou  into  the  joy  of  thy  Lord.^     Good-bye. 
"  Your  affectionate  child, 

"  Lydia  B.  Bacon.^' 

The  following  letter  is  one  of  congratulation  over 
the  hopeful  conversion  of  the  dear  child  of  one  of  her 
Sackett's  Harbor  friends.  This  was  her  little  pet,  the 
darlino;  Hattie  to  whom  she  addressed  some  of  her 
earliest  letters  after  leaving  Sackett's. 

To  Mrs.  H.  B. 

''Fehruarij  Uth,  1843. 

"  My  ever  dear  Sister  Harriet : — I  improve  the  first 
leisure  moment  at  my  command  to  tell  you  how  truly  I 
rejoice  with  you  in  the  conversion  of  your  darling  child. 
When  your  dear  husband  was  here  he  told  me  that  '  he 
felt  iliat  Harriet  ivould  become  a  Christian.^  Is  not  our 
God  a  covenant-keeping  God?  How  merciful,  how  full 
of  compassion  to  his  rebellious  creatures.  Blessed 
Master !  give  us  faith  to  believe  thy  promises.  Oh, 
how  can  we  ever  doubt  them  when  we  realize  the  great- 
ness of  thy  love  in  sending  thine  only  Son  to  die  for 
sinners.  *  Lord,  we  believe :  help  thou  our  unbelief.' 
May  we  henceforth  take  thee  at  thy  word,  and  plead 
thy  promises  with  an  earnestness  which  shall  show  the 
reality  and  the  strength  of  our  faith. 

"  My  dear  friend,  you  have  indeed  been  blessed  in 
having  your  child  after  a  few  years'  absence  return  to 
her  home  and  immediately  consecrate  herself  to  her 
Saviour.     This  was  all  you  could  desire  ;  truly  your  cup 

BIOGRAPHY   OF   MRS.    LYDIA   B.    BACON.  185 

runneth  over  with  hlessings.  And  now  may  the  little 
ones,  (dear  Frances^  orphans,)  be  grafted  in  to  the  blessed 
stock,  and  their  infant  voices  join  in  hallelujahs  '  to  the 
Lamb  that  was  slain.'  Thus  shall  you  be  an  unbroken 
family  hereafter  in  the  spirit  land.  Dear  sister,  shall 
Z  ever  be  permitted  to  join  the  blessed  choir  above? 
Oh,  for  stronger  evidence  of  my  adoption  !  May  I  find 
it  in  that  habitual  holiness  of  heart  and  those  fervent 
desires  for  the  salvation  of  others  which  can  only 
proceed  from  a  renewed  heart. 

*  There  is  a  fountain  filled  v.ith  blood, 
Dra-vATi  from  Immanuel's  veins.' 

Oh,  that  I  may  be  enabled  constantly  to  apply  to  it 
that  all  my  sins  may  be  washed  away.  It  does  rejoice 
our  hearts  to  hear  the  good  news  from  the  Harbor  im- 
parted in  your  letter.  We  feel  and  ever  shall  a  deep 
interest  in  that  place.  And  this  not  only  because  it  is 
your  residence  and  that  of  other  dear  friends,  but  that 
there  ive  found  an  interest  in  the  precious  Saviour.  Yes, 
after  living  nearly  thirty  years  estranged  from  God, 
though  enjoying  his  unnumbered  blessings  it  was  at  the 
Harbor  we  had  our  eyes  opened  to  see  our  lost  condition, 
and  grace  given  us  to  close  in  vvith  the  offers  of  salva- 
tion so  freely  made  in  the  gospel.  Can  we  ever  then 
forget  our  spiritual  birthplace  ?  Oh,  no.  We  hope  to 
hear  tliat  you  have  a  more  powerful  revival  than  ever 
before  known  at  the  Harbor. 

*'  Our   church   has   been   favored  again  with  a  few 

mercy  drops  ;  may  this  be  the  precursor  of  a  plentiful 

shower  of  divine  grace.     Oar  dear  minister  continues  to 

labor  most  faithfully.     We  have  some  anxious  inquirers. 


186  BIOGRAPHY   OF   MR?.   LYDIA   B.    BACOX. 

Our  cliapol  is  full  to  overflowing.  We  have  commenced 
a  new  meeting-liouse  on  the  site  of  the  chapel,  that 
havino'  been  removed  to  the  rear  of  the  lot,  where  it 
will  stand  for  a  vestry.  The  new  house  wdll  not  be 
done  before  next  May  or  June. 

"  To-day  we  have  consigned  to  the  tomb  one  of  our 
patients,  who  died  of  consumption  at  the  age  of  twenty- 
five.  His  hope  I  fear  was  on  a  wrong  foundation.  He 
was  not  vrilling  to  converse  much  with  me,  but  I  think 
he  was  a  Universalist. 

"  Our  situation  is  in  all  respects  about  the  same  as 
when  you  were  here.  We  have  had  an  abundance  of 
snow  this  winter,  and  it  is  now  falling  fast,  giving  ns  a 
prospect  of  sleighing  into  March.  Our  city  abounds  in 
mental  entertainments  this  winter:  sermons,  lectures, 
concerts  and  sights.  But  we  seldom  go  over  to  them, 
having  enough  of  both  duties  and  recreations  to  occupy 
us  at  home.  My  mother  is  very  comfortable  this 
winter ;  I  received  a  letter  from  her  a  few  days  since, 
written  with  the  vivacity  of  twenty-five.  She  retains 
her  energies  and  faculties  wonderfully.  But  I  must 
reserve  the  rest  of  my  paper  for  a  few  lines  to  your 
dear  Harriet.  May  that  peace  which  passeth  all 
understanding  be  your  present  and  eternal  portion,  is 
the  prayer  of  ''  Your  grateful  friend, 

'*  L.  B.  Bacox.^' 

'*  To  Miss  Harriet  B  :— It  was  indeed  most  deliivhtful. 

my  dear  child,  to  hear  from  yourself  that  you  have 

given  your  youthful  afl'cctions  to  the  blessed  Eedeemer. 

.  May  you  be  a  whole-hearted  Christian.     Seek  to  know 

what  duty  is,  and  then  perseveringly  pursue  it,  without 

BIOGRAPHY   OF   JIRS.    LYDIA   C.    RACON.  187 

turning  to  tlie  right  liand  or  to  the  h^ft.  Especially 
shape  not  your  course  hy  that  of  other  Ohrisiians,  young 
or  old;  hut  let  your  divine  Master  he  your  pattern,  and 
follow  others  only  as  they  follow  Christ.  This  measuring 
ourselves  hy  and  among  ourselves  is  not  wise.  There  is 
but  one  example  in  the  universe  which  we  may  at  all 
times  safely  follow,  hut  one  being  whom  under  all 
circumstances  we  may  seek  to  please.  My  precious 
child  keep  this  ever  in  mind,  and  always  ask  yourself, 
will  my  conduct  please  my  God  and  Saviour,  whom  I 
desire  to  honor  or  obey?  You  have  the  advantage  over 
many  young  converts  in  the  counsel  and  example  of 
Christian  parents,  able  to  watch  over  you.  Although 
you  are  entwined  with  every  fibre  of  their  hearts,  yet 
they  vrould  not  allow  any  thing  reprehensible  in  your 
conduct  to  pass  unnoticed.  I  am  persuaded  they  have 
your  fullest  confidence,  and  well  they  merit  it.  Let  it 
be  ever  thus;  keep  your  heart  open  to  them  on  all 
occasions  :  it  will  be  a  shield  to  you  from  the  tempta- 
tions of  life  of  inestimable  value.  Be  watchful,  and 
watch  unto  prayer.  It  is  the  experience  of  all 
Christians  that  it  requires  great  vratchfulness  and  con- 
stant supplications  to  keep  a  heart  pure,  and  a  conscience 
void  of  offence.  Oh,  may  you  be  richly  endued  with 
the  Holy  Spirit ;  seek  his  blessed  influences,  and  you 
vvdll  have  a  monitor  that  will  not  let  you  stray. 

''  Your  education,  my  dear  3^oung  friend,  has  been 
such  as  to  prepare  you  for  great  usefulness.  I  shall 
expect  to  hear  that  you  are  engaging  in  every  good 
word  and  work.  May  3^ou  in  this  be  more  eminent  than 
all  who  have  preceded  you  at  the  Harbor.  While 
speaking  thus  my  mind  reverts  to  by-gone  times,  when 

188  BIOGRAPHY   OF   MRS.    LYDIA   B.    BACON. 

with  your  beloved  niotlicr  and  sisters  and  other 
Christian  friends  we  endeavored  in  much  weakness  to 
do  something  for  the  upbuilding  of  the  Redeemer's 
kingdom  at  the  Harbor.  Oh,  that  those  who  are  now 
commencing  the  holy  warfare  against  the  powers  of 
darkness  may  be  more  faithful  than  we  were,  and  may 
find  their  labors  crowned  with  abundant  success.  The 
great  Head  of  the  church  can  enable  '  one  to  chase  a 
thousand,  and  two  to  put  ten  thousand  to  flight.'  I 
hope  you  will  have  the  happiness  to  see  your  dear  little 
nephew  and  niece  give  the  dew  of  their  youth  to  the 
friend  of  children.  You  will  now  feel,  I  hope,  like 
pointing  them  to  him  who  when  on  earth  took  little 
children  in  his  arms  and  blessed  them.  Do  not  let  the 
little  girl  go  from  you.  If  I  mistake  not,  you  are 
about  the  age  of  her  mother  at  the  time  I  left  the 
Harbor,  and  she  is  about  as  old  as  you  then  were.  Well 
do  I  remember  the  comfort  which  you  then  took  with 
that  older  sister ;  and  now,  dear  Harriet,  you  can  be 
the  guide  and  companion  of  her  little  one,  so  early  left 
motherless.  She  will  look  to  you  for  a  safe  example ; 
oh,  disappoint  her  not.  May  you  be  enabled  in  the 
great  day  of  accounts  to  say  of  her  and  of  many  others 
redeemed  by  your  influence,  '  Lord,  here  am  I  and  those 
whom  thou  hast  given  me.'  Accept  my  warmest  wishes 
and  most  fervent  prayers  that  heaven's  choicest  bless- 
ings may  rest  upon  you.  'Uncle  Bacon'  desires  his 
kindest  regards,  and  joins  me  in  particular  remem- 
brances to  you  all,  and  to  other  friends  at  the  Harbor. 
Pray  for  Anna,  that  she  also  may  feel  the  importance 
of  securing  the  one  thing  needful. 

"  Your  aff'ectionate, 

"L.  B.  Bacon." 

Bioc.RApriY  OF  :mrs.  lydia  b.  bacox.  189 

To  lior  Mother. 

''Avrjust  lOtJi,  1843. 

"  I  am  sorry,  my  Jear  mother,  that  you  \yere  disap- 
pohited  about  seudiug  the  berries.  Not  howover  so  much 
on  mt/  own  accouut  as  on  yours,  for  we  can  get  plenty  of 
them  here.  But  you  took  so  much  trouble  in  procuring 
them  for  us,  tliat  I  regret  your  disappointment.  We 
had  a  delightful  ride  to  Plymouth  on  our  way  home 
from  Sandwich.  We  arrived  at  P.  just  in  season  for 
the  boat.  There  was  some  swell  upon  the  water,  though 
it  was  not  rough,  and  I  felt  a  little  like  being  sick ;  but 
I  lay  down  upon  a  settee  and  bore  it  as  well  as  I  could. 
As  soon  as  we  got  to  Boston  light  I  began  to  feel  better 
and  roused  myself  to  enjoy  the  scenery  of  Boston 
harbor,  which  is  always  very  attractive  to  me.  Vessels 
of  various  dimensions  were  coming  and  going,  but  we 
passed  them  all,  as  we  were  proceeding  at  the  rate  of 
twelve  miles  an  hour  and  they  six.  We  met  the 
British  steamer,  bound  to  Liverpool ;  it  looked  like 
some  huge  monster  of  the  deep,  smoking  and  hissing 
as  if  in  a  violent  rao-e.  Oar  boat  trembled  as  it  fell 
into  the  steamer's  wake.  I  do  think  one  of  those  large 
steamships  in  full  operation  is  a  sublime  sight.  It 
certainly  is  calculated  to  impress  the  mind  with  a  sense 
of  the  wisdom  and  power  of  God,  for  who  but  an 
infinite  Being  could  endow  man  with  such  conceptions 
and  skill  as  to  enable  him  to  invent,  construct  and 
control  such  vast  machinery.  These  steamers  are  now 
on  every  sea,  transporting  not  only  those  who  are 
engaged  in  worldly  pursuits,  but  those  also  who  carry 
the  glad  news  of  the  gospel  to  the  heathen.  We 
arrived  at  the  wharf  just  about  three  o'clock,  and  soon 

190  CIOaRAPIIY   OF   MRS.    LYDIA   B.    BACON. 

found  oiirselvcs  in   our  little  foriy  steamer,  and   in  a 
few  minutes  more  were  safely  moored  in  our  pleasant 

domicil.     We  found  all  well  but  Mrs.  B r,  wlio  was 

suffering  from  an  attack  of  cliolera  morbus.  It  certain- 
ly calls  for  our  warmest  gratitude,  dear  mother,  that  we 
have  been  permitted  to  meet  once  more  under  such 
favorable  circumstances,  and  that  our  journey  to  you 
and  our  return  has  been  so  safely  and  pleasantly 
accomplished.  It  is  no  slight  thing  to  make  a  journey, 
long  or  short,  without  accident  of  any  kind. 

"  Tell  sister  that  I  found  my  boys  professing  great 
pleasure  at  seeing  me  home  again.  Williams,  though 
more  feeble  in  body  than  when  I  left  him,  now  is, 
(spiritually,)  clothed  and  in  his  right  mind.  I  told  him 
that  you  sent  your  regards  to  him  and  others.  *  God 
bless  her,^  said  he  with  all  the  w^armth  of  a  sailor^s 
heart,  *  I  never  shall  forget  the  tear  she  shed  when  she 
talked  to  me.  That  tear  has  followed  me  ever  since, 
and  I  {1111x1:,  I  Icnoiu  that  she  feels  for  the  poor  sailor.' 
It  seems  that  he  had  a  Roman  Catholic  mother,  but  one 
whom  he  believes  to  be  truly  pious  notwithstanding  her 
ignorance  and  superstition.  He  remembers  weeping 
much  on  hearing  her  tell  the  story  of  the  cross.  She 
was  (he  says,)  very  particular  to  instruct  her  children, 
making  them  pray  morning  and  evening.  Though  poor, 
she  always  dressed  them  clean,  and  made  them  go  to 
church  on  Sabbath  day.  He  is  a  Prussian,  and  to  avoid 
being  drafted  as  a  soldier  he  left  his  home  and  went  to  sea. 
He  has  a  decent  education,  and  reads  his  Bible  conside- 
rably. I  cannot  help  thinking  that  a  good  work  is 
begun  in  his  heart,  and  trust  it  will  be  perfected.  If 
so,  what  a  brand  will  be  plucked  from  the  burning. 

BIOGlUniY   OF   MRS.    LYDIA    B.    BACO^.  191 

Praj  for  liim.  Naylor  is  as  usual,  and  Aiulerson  is 
bettor.  They  all  send  j'ou  their  thanks  for  your  kind 
remembrance  of  them.  A  sailor  is  never  ungrateful 
Antonio  is  here,  but  I  have  not  seen  him  since  my 
return.  He  was  not  in  the  wards  when  I  went  my 
round,  and  I  have  not  happened  to  meet  him  elsewhere. 
I  wish  I  had  time  to  tell  you  of  our  good  meeting  in 
the  chapel  last  evening,  and  also  of  my  interview  witli 
my  poor  colored  brethren  in  their  ward. 

"  Now,  dear  mother,  how  do  you  do?  I  suppose  you 
are  all  going  on  as  usual.  Sister  Anna  visits  you  every 
day,  and  the  grand-children  and  great-grand-children 
to  the  third  generation  cluster  around  you.  Oh,  may 
they  all  be  as  olive  plants  in  the  vineyard  of  the  Lord. 

"  Eemember  us  affectionately  to  all  friends  ;  we  are 
much  obliged  to  them  for  so  many  favors. 

*'  Saturday/  Eve.     Since  writing  the  above  we  learn 

that  our  Hospital  physician,  Dr.  0 ,  is  removed,  and 

Doctor  L.  appointed  in  his  place.  The  latter  is  a  young 
man  from  Andover,  about  thirty  years  of  age,  and  was 
a  pupil  of  Dr.  Stedman  while  he  was  at  this  Hospital. 
We  know  not  but  we  also  shall  be  displaced.  With 
assurances  of  love  to  all,  I  am 

*'  Yours  affectionately, 

*'  Lydia." 

To  her  Mother. 

''December,  181:3. 

*'  My  dear  Mother: — I  know  it  is  a  long  time  since  I 

have  written  you  ;  but  could  you  see  how  much  I  have 

to  occupy  me,  you  would,  I  think,  hold  me  somewhat 

excusable.     I  have  come  to  the  conclusion  that  there  is 

192  BIOGRAPHY    or   MRS.    LYDIA   B.    BACON. 

no  such  tiling  for  me  as  an  idle  rnoment,  althougli  some- 
times I  am  almost  inclined  to  wisli  for  one.  Let  our 
situation  be  what  it  may,  I  do  not  believe  that  either 
Josiah  or  myself  shall  ever  be  in  danger  of  rusting. 
We  shall,  I  suspect,  always  find  enough  to  do.  To-day 
the  weather  is  most  delightful,  and  husband  has  gone 
to  Brighton  on  business.  It  would  have  been  pleasant 
for  me  to  go  with  him,  and  I  should  much  have  enjoyed 
the  ride  ;  but  I  wished  to  write  my  dear  mother  to-day, 
and  there  is  a  sick  man  whom  I  ought  to  visit,  so  I 
decided  to  remain.  My  poor  patient  cannot  live  long, 
and  as  he  is  unable  to  read  he  likes  to  have  me  read 
the  Bible  to  him.  I  have  conversed  with  him  to-day 
about  his  situation  ;  he  seems  quite  reconciled  to  death, 
feels  his  dependence  upon  the  Saviour,  and  trusts  in 
him  alone  for  salvation.  He  is  gentle  and  quiet  as  a 
lamb,  though  suffering  considerably.  His  disease  is 
consumption.  Poor  fellow !  his  rest  will  be  sweet ;  it 
is  a  consolation  that  there  will  be  time  enough  to  rest  in 
heaven.  That  blessed  world  is  often  present  to  my 
view",  and  when  inclined  to  relax  my  efforts  in  any  good 
cause,  I  reflect  were  I  there  and  could  1  grieve  in  heaven 
it  would  be  that  I  have  done  so  little  good  here.  Ob, 
then  'let  us  work  while  the  day  lasts.'  We  have  a 
colored  man  here  who  also  is  drawing  near  his  end.  He 
has  been  much  exercised  about  his  future  state.  His 
mind  has  been  dark  as  his  skin,  but  the  light  of  the  sun 
of  righteousness  has  now  dawned  upon  his  soul,  and  we 
hope  he  will  be  prepared  to  meet  the  Lord  at  his  coming. 
Oh,  my  mother,  what  a  station  has  God  in  his  provi- 
dence called  us  to  fill.  Its  responsibilities  are  almost 
overwhelming,  and  we  need,  oh,  how  much,  the  prayers 

BIOGRAPHY   OF   MRS.    LYDIA   B.    BACON.  193 

of  our  Christian  friends.     Let  yours  ascend  constantly 
on  our  Lelialf 

"  The  boy  ^^'llom  I  mentioned  in  a  former  letter,  wlio 
was  brought  in  ^\■itll  the  Savannah  fever,  is  now 
convalescing.  He  is  only  fourteen  years  old.  We  have 
taken  him  from  the  ward  and  put  him  in  the  family, 
the  doctor  thinking  that  he  would  recover  faster  r"^ 
removed  from  among  the  sick,  as  he  needed  no  medicine. 
Kate,  [a  niece  of  Mrs.  B's,]  and  I  are  learning  him  to 
read,  and  are  also  making  him  some  clothes,  as  he  was 
very  destitute.  So  you  see  we  have  plenty  of  variety 
in  our  labors.  He  is  a  gentle,  docile  child,  with  a  very 
sweet  face,  and  nothing  bad  or  vile  about  him  outwardly. 
He  seems  to  think  that  sin  is  a  hateful  thing.  We  took 
him  to  meeting  with  us,  and  he  never  took  his  eyes 
from  the  minister  during  the  whole  sermon.  In  the 
evening  I  was  conversing  with  him  and  trying  to 
explain  the  fourth  commandment,  and  he  told  me  that 
'  he  had  thought  upon  good  things  all  the  day.'  He 
went  with  us  to  Sabbath  school,  and  also  attended  our 
meeting  at  the  house,  so  that  his  whole  time  was 
employed  in  religious  services.  But  I  thought  few  of 
us  could  say  that  our  minds  had  been  upon  them  all  the 
time.  The  boy  seems  very  grateful  and  affectionate, 
and  interests  me  much.  Still  I  try  not  to  feel  too 
sanguine  respecting  him,  so  that  if  he  should  prove  un- 
worthy after  he  recovers  and  be  a  different  boy  from 
what  he  now  seems,  I  should  not  be  greatly  disappointed. 
His  father  was  a  Frenchman,  but  is  dead.  His  mother 
is  German,  and  is  now  living  in  Baltimore.  He  is  very 
fond  of  her,  and  I  think  she  must  be  a  decent  woman, 
though  probably  ignorant.  All  the  literary  knowledge 

194  BIOGRAPHY   or   MRS.   LYDIA   B.    BACON. 

he  has  was  acqiured  in  the  Sahbath  school.  Had  it  not 
been  for  that  precious  institution  he  probably  would  not 
have  known  his  letters.  Dear  Kate  is  much  interested 
in  him,  and  is  quite  a  help  to  me  hi  teaching  him  to 
read,  though  herself  a  child.  So  you  see,  mother,  that 
I  have  two  children.  At  one  time  I  am  listening  to  lier 
notes  on  the  piano,  and  next  I  am  helping  the  little 
sailor  boy  spell  his  words  of  one  syllable.  Sometimes  I 
leave  him  to  try  Katie's  patience  while  I  go  and  read 
the  Bible  to  some  poor  sick  one  in  the  w^ards.  Kate  im- 
proves very  much,  and  I  enjoy  her  society  exceedingly; 
she  is  very  pleasant  and  obedient.  She  has  gone  to-day 
with  her  Uncle  Bacon  to  Charlestown,  to  visit  Abby  G-. 
I  thought  it  a  good  opportunity  for  her,  as  her  uncle 
was  going  to  Brighton,  and  could  leave  her  at  C.  on  his 
way  over  and  call  for  her  on  his  return.  Francis,  the 
invalid  boy,  has  gone  with  them.  I  don't  know  which 
was  the  most  delighted,  the  *big  boy,'  (as  Susan  N. 
used  to  call  Josiah  when  they  played  at  school  together,) 
or  the  children.  They  were  a  happy  trio,  I  assure  you. 
''  Last  evening  a  new^  benevolent  society  was  organized 
in  our  village.  It  is  composed  of  the  benevolent  from 
all  denominations,  and  its  object  is  to  assist  the  poor  in 
this  inclement  season,  w^ithout  respect  to  age,  condition 
or  color.  IMr.  Bacon  presided  at  the  formation  of  the 
society,  and  Mr.  E.  S.  was  Vice-President.  Kate  desires 
love  to  you  all  with  husband  and  self.  Tell  Anna  that 
I  received  the  cape  and  like  it.  I  have  seen  sister  twice 
since  I  came  from  Sandwich ;  once  I  dined  with  her. 
Next  week  being  Christmas  I  shall  expect  Isabella  and 

Mary  to  visit  us.     We  dined  at  J 's  Thanksgiving 

day,  with  their  children  and  grand-children,  and  had  a 
very  pleasant  time. 


"We  liavo  just  received  an  invitation  from  sister  A. 
to  dine  with  tliem  on  Cliristmas  day,  which  we  shall 
accept,  Providence  permitting.  We  have  just  now  re- 
turned from  a  temperance  lecture  in  our  village  ;  it  was 
very  good,  and  we  trust  the  influence  will  be  salutary, 
Ahby,  should  we  all  live  and  remain  here,  you  must 
come  up  and  stay  with  us  during  the  anniversaries  in 
May,  unless  it  is  more  convenient  for  you  to  come  later. 

*'  Yours  as  ever, 

"  L.  B.  Bacon." 

To  the  same. 

'' January  22d,  1844. 

"  I  am  admonished,  my  dear  mother,  by  the  date 
above  that  I  have  not  written  you  since  the  year  com- 
menced. I  am  reminded  of  the  goodness  of  God  in 
sparing  us  another  year,  when  we  deserve  to  be  '  cut 
do^Ti  as  cumberers  of  the  ground.'  Yes,  ive  are  spared 
while  on  every  breeze  is  borne  the  sad  tidings  that  some 
one  whom  we  knew  and  loved  has  gone  to  the  spirit-land- 

"  Last  week  we  received  a  letter  from  Mrs.  Boyd,  who 
has  been  called  to  mourn  the  loss  of  another  sweet 
child,  a  darling  girl,  I  believe  about  nine  years  of  age. 
Her  letter  also  announces  the  sudden  death  of  our  dear 
friend  and  brother,  Mr.  Brewster  of  Sackett's  Harbor. 
This  will  be  a  great  loss  to  the  church  there,  and  to  the 
"society  also  which  is  now  struggling  to  replace  their 
house  of  worship  unfortunately  burnt  to  the  ground. 
But  we  must  not  question  the  ways  of  Providence. 
Brother  B.  lived  to  a  good  old  age,  and  as  a  shock  of 
corn  fully  ripe  has  been  gathered  to  his  fathers.  How 
sweet  is  the  remembrance  of  his  kindness  and  brotherly 

196  BIOGRAPHY   OF   MES.    LYDIA   B.    BACOX. 

affection  to  us.  And  liow  pleasant  the  memory  of  liis 
visit  here  a  year  ago  last  October.  How  well  I  remem- 
ber the  last  time  we  knelt  around  the  family  altar,  and 
the  Last  look  as  they  took  their  departure.  I  felt  then 
that  I  should  never  see  him  again  in  the  flesh.  We 
ought  not  to  regret  that  he  is  now  enjoy iug  the  presence 
of  his  Saviour.  His  dear  companion  has  lost  the  friend 
of  her  bosom,  but  her  gentle  spirit  is  used  to  discipline, 
(having  often  borne  the  rod,)  and  will  bow  in  humble 
submission  to  her  Father's  will.  Mrs.  Boyd  likewise 
mentions  the  death  of  Ann  Bridge,  one  of  my  Sabbath 
scholars  at  the  Harbor.  She  was  a  very  lovely  girl. 
When  a  child  she  was  one  of  the  best  I  ever  knew,  and 
the  only  daughter  of  a  mother  who  was  a  great  invalid. 
I  think  Abby  will  remember  the  family. 

"  Yesterday  I  heard  that  our  dear  Catharine  P.  is  on 
her  death-bed.  I  wish  very  much  to  see  her  once  more, 
and  should  go  over  but  I  understand  that  she  is  so  low 
they  do  not  allow  any  company.  I  am  told  she  is 
perfectly  happy  in  view  of  death,  and  feels  that  the 
grim  messenger  comes  with  happy  tidings,  bidding  her 
*  enter  into  the  joy  of  her  Lord.'  Well,  her  course  of 
self-denying  usefulness  is  over,  and  now  she  will  under- 
stand the  mystery  of  God's  dealings  with  her,  and  with 
enraptured  strains  will  chant  the  praises  of  redeeming 
love.  How  many  of  God's  children  whom  she  has 
comforted  and  ministered  to  will  greet  her  in  her  new 
and  blessed  abode.  And  how  many  who  but  for  her 
faithful  instruction  had  never  entered  the  pearly  gates 
will  at  last  rise  up  to  call  her  blessed.  Surely  '  they 
who  turn  many  to  righteousness  shall  shine  as  the  stars 
forever   and  ever.'     She  will  be  a  s:reat  loss  to  her 


friends  and  to  the  cliurcli ;  but  the  great  Head  of  the 
church  can  raise  uj)  some  one  to  fill  her  place,  if  he  sees 
best  to  call  her  home.  Oh,  how  admonitory  are  all 
these  dispensations  !  How  loud  the  call  to  us,  '  Be  ye 
also  ready,  for  in  such  an  hour  as  ye  think  not  the  Son 
of  Man  cometh.' 

*'  Last  week  we  buried  two  of  Ocean^s  sons,  not  where 
'  the  coral '  is  tlieir  '  pillow,'  and  '  the  seaweed  '  their 
'  winding  sheet,'  but  in  the  silent  tomb  prepared  by  man 
for  their  long  home.  Father  Taylor  attended  the 
funeral,  and  was  very  good  indeed;  he  has  just  returned 
from  a  long  journey  by  sea  and  land  for  the  recovery  of 
his  health. 

"  We  had  a  very  pleasant  time  at  South  Boston  last 
week,  and  wish  you  had  been  with  us.  Do  you  remem- 
ber the  *  little  prisoners '  ?  You  would  have  thought 
yourself  in  company  with  noblemen's  sons  had  you  seen 
them  last  week.  Keally  there  are  some  very  talented  boys 
among  them.  Capt.  C.  was  in  his  '  valley  of  diamonds ' ; 
he  is  certainly  a  wonderful  man. 

'^  Our  dear  pastor  has  been  quite  sick,  and  is  still 
unable  to  preach.  Had  Mr.  C,  (your  minister,)  been 
here  last  Sabbath  we  should  have  persuaded  him  to  fill 
the  pulpit.  I  hope  we  shall  have  the  pleasure  of  hearing 
him  preach  before  he  returns  to  Sandwich.  Our  boy 
Francis  is  improving  in  his  reading.  I  wish,  Abby,  you 
were  here  to  help  teach  him.  I  have  sent  him  to  school 
lately,  and  he  has  made  good  progress.  But  I  must 
close.  Kate  joins  me  in  love  to  dear  grandmother  and 
all  our  dear  relatives. 

"  Yours  always, 

''LydiaB.  Bacon." 



Mr.  Brewster,  of  Sackett's  Harbor,  wliose  death  is 
mentioned  by  Mrs.  Bacon  in  the  foregoing  letter  to  ber 
mother,  was  one  of  their  dearest  and  best  friends,  tried 
and  faithful  in  adversity  as  well  as  prosperity.  His 
wife  was  the  beloved  and  valued  companion  and  friend 
so  often  addressed  in  these  pages  as  *  Sister  Harriet.' 
The  last  epistle  addressed  to  her  was,  (as  the  reader 
may  remember,)  one  of  most  affectionate  congratulation 
upon  the  hopeful  conversion  of  her  only  daughter.  How 
different  the  tenor  of  the  following,  written  after  the 
bereaving  stroke  had  fallen  so  hea^vilj. 

To  Mrs.  H.  B. 

"  Qhekea,  Jem.  23,  1844. 
"  My  dear  afflicted  Sister : — I  have  been  wishing  to 
WTite  you  for  some  weeks  past,  but  have  waited  to  find 
the  moment  when  I  could  do  so  without  interruption. 
I  have  just  been  perusing  the  last  letter  I  received  from 
you  ere  the  hand  of  the  Lord  had  written  you  a  widow. 
How  striking  seemed  the  contrast  as  I  read  it  and 
thought  of  your  situation  then  and  now.  Then  you 
had  health  in  your  habitation  and  peace  in  your  dwell- 
ing-place, and  your  heart  overflowed  with  gratitude  to 
God  for  his  kindness  to  you,  and  with  sympathy  for 
your  neighbors  less  favored  than  yourself.  Noiv  death 
has  entered  your  dwelling  and  taken  the  loved  com- 
panion of  your  bosom,  removing  *  the  desire  of  your 
eyes '  with  a  stroke  the  severity  of  which  none  but 
yourself  can  fully  estimate.  My  heart  is  full ;  dearest 
Bister,  what  shall  I  say  ?  I  need  not  point  you  to  the 
promises  so  graciously  and  profusely  scattered  through 
the  blessed  Book,  for  they  have  been  your  solace  in  all 

BIOGRArnY   OP   MRS.    LYDIA   B.    BACON.  199 

your  pilgrimage  Intlicrto.  I  need  not  tell  you  that  our 
Father  is  the  widow's  God  aud  Judge,  nor  remind  you 
how  tenderly  he  says  to  you,  *  Thy  Maker  is  thy 
husband  ;  the  Lord  of  Hosts  is  his  name.'  Nor  need  I 
assure  you  that  he  who  wounds  can  heal ;  you  have  had 
blessed  experience  of  his  mercy  in  many  a  previous 
trial.  What  strong  consolation  you  have  in  this  hour 
of  your  distress.  Your  loved  one  has  fallen  like  the 
ripened  sheaf.  He  had  nothing  to  do  but  to  die,  and 
so,  gathering  himself  in  his  bed,  he  pronounced  his  last 
blessing  upon  his  weeping  friends  and  then  fell  asleep 
in  Jesus.  My  sweet  sister,  as  you  walked  down  with 
him  into  '  the  valley  of  the  shadow  of  death,'  and 
followed  him  to  the  confines  of  eternity,  did  you  not 
almost  wish  to  go  ivitli  Mm  over  Jordan  ?  But  no  ;  you 
have  still  ties  to  bind  you  here,  and  those  dear  children, 
(left  you  by  a  former  bereaving  Providence,)  are  com- 
mitted to  your  care  to  be  trained  for  God  and  heaven. 
Oh,  may  your  life  be  prolonged  to  finish  this  '  work  of 
faith  and  labor  of  love.' 

"  More  than  ever  do  I  prize  the  privilege  of  that 
good  visit  received  from  you  and  our  dear  departed 
brother  more  than  a  year  ago.  How  delightful  is  the 
recollection  of  our  meeting ;  how  vivid  the  memory  of 
our  parting.  I  am  sure  we  all  felt  that  we  should 
probably  never  meet  again  on  earth.  How  much  I 
have  thought  of  his  kindness  to  us,  and  of  his  Christian 
character  generally.  How  he  will  be  missed  in  the 
house  of  God,  and  in  every  thing  that  he  used  so  much 
to  delight  in.  But,  blessed  be  God,  with  an  eye  of 
faith   we   can  follow  him  bevond  the  vail,  and  there 


"behold  him,  freed  from  sin  and  unfettered  with  infirmi- 
ty, praising  the  grace  that  hath  saved  him. 

*'  Dear  sister,  accept  our  sympathies.  You  know  the 
bonds  of  long-tried  friendship  and  Christian  love  which 
united  us.  We  feel  for  you  and  your  dear  Harriet 
more  than  we  can  express.  The  latter  will  now  have  a 
double  duty  resting  on  her.  As  she  has  early  devoted 
herself  to  her  Saviour,  may  she  have  a  double  portion 
of  his  spirit  and  grace.  You  are  blessed,  my  dear 
friend,  in  having  your  beloved  only  daughter  a  member 
of  the  household  of  faith.  May  those  little  ones,  the 
dear  offspring  of  the  departed  Frances,  give  their  young 
hearts  to  Jesus,  and  consecrate  to  him  the  dew  of  their 
youth ;  and  thus  be  early  adopted  into  his  blessed 

"  Do  write  us  soon,  dear  sister,  and  tell  us,  if  you  can, 
more  particularly  of  the  closing  scene  of  our  lamented 
brother.  Oh  !  that  we  could  meet  and  mingle  our  tears 
together :  we  would  only  mourn  our  loss,  for  he  is  an 
infinite  gainer  and  needs  no  sympathy. 

"  I  have  just  received  a  letter  from  Mrs.  Boyd.  A 
few  lines  from  him  at  the  close  announced  the  birth  of 
another  daughter.  They,  too,  have  been  bereaved,  and 
his  health  is  very  precarious,  as,  no  doubt  you  know. 
May  they  have  grace  given  them  to  bear  all  their 
Father's  will.  You  express  the  hope  in  your  letter  that 
we  are  exempt  from  all  ill.  AVe  have  not  at  least  been 
free  from  apprehensions  ;  as  we  have  had  reason  to  fear 
we  might  be  removed  from  our  position.  Our  physician 
was  displaced,  and  wo  could  hardly  expect  to  be  more 
favored.  But  a  kind  Providence  placed  us  here,  and 
has  hitherto  sustained  us :  aud  we  feel  that  we  are  in 

BIOGRAPHY   OF   MRS.    LYDIA   B.    BACON.  201 

his  hands.  Should  lie  see  fit  to  remove  iis  he  uill ;  and 
no  one  else  can  do  it  If  we  are  obliged  to  leave,  it  will 
doubtless  be  for  the  best.  At  present,  our  situation, 
though  not  without  its  cares  and  trials,  seems  desirable 
to  us  both.  I  have  never  allowed  myself  to  call  it 
Jiome,  both  on  account  of  the  uncertainty  whether  we 
should  be  permitted  to  remain  here,  and  the  certainty 
that  ere  long  we  must  part  with  all  things  earthly. 
How  consolino'  the  assurance  that  Christ  has  o'one  to 
prepare  a  place  for  us  above.  We  have  much  to 
encourage  us  in  our  labors  ;  many  interesting  cases 
anion 2:  the  sons  of  the  ocean  are  occurrino;  to  cheer  us 
on  in  our  efforts  to  do  good  to  the  soul  as  well  as  the 
body.  TVe  have  a  little  boy  with  us  only  fourteen  years 
old.  He  was  born  in  France,  but  went  to  the  West 
Indies  where  he  took  a  fever ;  and  the  vessel  in  which 
he  was,  coming  to  Boston,  he  was  brought  to  the  Hos- 
pital. He  '  was  sick  nigh  unto  death,'  but  has  recovered. 
He  has  no  relations  in  this  country  but  a  mother ;  she 
is  very  poor  and  a  Catholic.  He  could  not  read  ;  and 
as  he  is  not  yet  fit  to  send  away,  we  are  trying  to  teach 
him.  He  is  very  affectionate  and  obedient,  and  improves 
fast.  I  know  not  what  to  think  of  his  religious  cliar- 
acter.  He  professes  to  love  Christ,  and  says  that  he 
always  did ;  he  also  says  that  lie  always  loved  to  pray, 
and  feared  to  do  wrong.  Time  will  prove  the  sincerity 
of  his  professions.  ^  ^  *  ^  ^  We  lay  no  plans 
for  ourselves  not  even  for  the  morrow  ;  as  we  know  not 
what  a  day  may  bring  forth.  I  feel  that  life  is  pecu- 
liarly uncertain  with  me.  I  am  troubled  with  a 
ccmj^hint  of  the  heart  which  has  been  more  or  less 
obvious  for  the  past  two  years.     I  did  not  tell  you  of  it 


when  you  were  liere,  tliinking  it  miglit  disturb  your 
enjoyment.  I  consider  myself  more  tlian  usually  liable 
to  sudden  deatb :  pray  for  me,  my  dear  sister,  that  I 
may  be  ready  whenever  my  Divine  Master  calls.  I 
visited  my  dear  mother  in  August.  She  still  enjoys 
good  health  for  such  advanced  age.  She  felt  delighted 
that  you  had  visited  me,  and  it  would  have  given  her 
great  pleasure  to  see  you  herself.  I  have  a  niece,  a 
daughter  of  my  brother  William,  staying  with  me  this 
winter  and  attending  to  music.  I  enjoy  her  society 
much.  Accept  our  united  love  for  yourself  and  dear 
ones  :  we  commend  you  all  to  God  and  to  the  word  of 
his  grace.  Should  we  meet  no  more  on  earth,  may  we 
be  all  found  at  the  right  hand  of  the  Judge. 
'•  Your  affectionate  sister, 

*'  L.  B.  Bacon." 

To  her  Mother. 

''March  8th,  1844. 
*'  My  dear  Mother  : — I  thank  you  and  Abby  for  the 
few  lines  received  by  the  Packet.  I  can  sympathize 
with  you  as  it  respects  the  distress  in  your  head ;  for 
mine  has  been  similarly  aflected  for  two  weeks  past. 
It  has  been  dreadful  to  bear ;  but  with  you  I  can  say 
that  I  desire  to  submit  to  the  will  of  God.  Cheerful 
submission  I  believe  to  be  the  best  cure  for  all  earthly 
troubles.  And  what  a  motive  is  there  for  submission 
when  we  reflect  how  little  we  deserve  auo;ht  but  suffering;. 
Oh  let  us  bear  patiently  all  God's  afflictive  providences  ; 
for  does  not  our  heavenly  Father  know  what  is  best  for 
us  ?  And  after  such  a  long  experience  of  his  goodness 
as  you  and  I  have  had,  cannot  we  trust  him  for  the 


future  ?  Altliougli  mine  lias  Lecn  a  clieckercd  scene, 
yet  how  many,  many  mercies  have  been  strewed  in  my 
path.  AVhen  I  look  Lack  on  the  fifty-seven  years  spent 
in  this  frail  tahernacle,  I  am  filled  with  wonder  and 
astonishment  at  the  goodness  of  God  to  one  so  unworthy. 
Especially  do  I  feel  called  upon  to  admire  his  conde- 
scension in  placing  me  in  situations  where  I  could  be 
greatly  useful  in  his  vineyard.  You,  my  dear  mother, 
are  pleasantly  and  peacefully  situated,  where  you  can 
have  time  calmly  to  prepare  for  your  last  change.  That 
great  change  must  shortly  come.  You  may,  it  is  true, 
outlive  your  children  ;  but  we  are  all  growing  old ;  a 
few  more  years,  months,  or  days,  and  '  the  places  that 
now  know  us  will  know  us  no  more  forever.'  It  will 
make  but  little  difference  then  whether  our  life  was 
long  or  short,  our  pains  many  or  few.  The  only  ques- 
tions of  importance  will  be,  *  did  we  believe  on  the  Lord 
Jesus  Christ,  and  did  our  faith  show  itself  in  corres- 
ponding works?' 

"  Is  it  not  astonishing,  dear  mother,  that  we  trust  to 
finite  things  for  happiness  so  much  and  neglect  the 
infinite  Being,  who  is  the  source  of  all  true  bliss.  Oh ! 
let  us  ever  cherish  that  soul-satisfying  feeling,  that  God 
doeth  all  things  well.  Let  us  remember  that  his  ways, 
though  now  dark  to  our  finite  minds,  will  all  be  cleared 
up  when  the  sunbeams  of  eternity  shall  fully  reveal  his 
goodness  in  his  mysterious  dealings  witli  us.  Oh  !  it  is 
sweet  to  rest  with  the  confidence  of  children  upon  that 
divine  word  which  assures  us  that  all  things  ^hall  work 
for  good  to  those  that  love  him.  It  is,  as  you  justly 
observe,  a  great  blessing  that  we  are  able  to  walk  about 
and  take  care  of  ourselves,  although  in  much  infirmity. 

204  BIOGRArilY   OF   MRS.    LYDIA   B.    BACON. 

Perhaps  you  have  read  of  the  poor  sufferer  at  Salem 
with  a  diseased  spine.  She  has  been  confined  to  her 
"bed  for  many  years,  enduring  the  most  violent  spasms. 
These  distort  her  head  and  limbs,  putting  them  in 
unnatural  and  painful  positions  in  which  they  remain 
until  a  succeeding  spasm  changes  them.  She  is  a 
perfect  wonder  :  and  amid  all  this  protracted  suffering 
and  torture,  her  mind  is  stayed  on  God,  and  she  has  sweet 
communion  with  her  Saviour.  I  have  just  been  reading 
in  the  Puritan  (a  new  religious  paper  which  I  shall  send 
you  instead  of  the  Eecorder,)  a  very  full  and  particular 
account  of  the  dreadful  accident  at  Washington.  I  do 
hope  that  our  nation  will  be  admonished  by  the  blow 
which  has  fallen  upon  those  who  wear  its  dignities  and 
sit  in  its  places  of  trust  and  power. 

''  Our  lovely  friend,  Mrs.  L ,  who  went  as  Mis- 
sionary to  the  Nestorians,  has  taken  an  early  flight  to 
the  spirit-land,  and  is,  doubtless,  at  rest  in  her  Saviour's 
bosom.  But  eighteen  months  ago,  we  v\'ere  all  busy 
helping  her  prepare  for  the  work  on  which  her  heart  was 
set :  but  the  God  of  missions  has  taken  her  to  brio-hter 
realms.  She  had  the  cholera,  which  weakened  her 
exceedingly ;  and  after  the  birth  of  a  dead  infant,  she 
sank  immediately  into  the  arms  of  death.'  She  was 
perfectly  happy,  and  sweetly  resigned  to  her  heavenly 
Father's  will.  Hers  was  a  very  perfect  character ;  I 
loved  her  much,  and  so  did  every  one  who  knew  her. 

"  You  remind  me,  sister  A.,  that  we  are  to  go  to 
Mount  Auburn  if  we  live  till  you  come  up.  I  have  not 
forgotten  it :  when  will  you  come  ?  The  birds  are 
singing  to-day  ;  soon  all  nature  will  wake  to  life  and 
renew  its  beauties.  Yours  always, 

"  L.  B.  Bacox.'^ 


To  her  Mother. 

"Jimem,  1844. 

"  I  suppose  my  dear  motlier  begins  to  tliiiik  it  is 
about  time  to  have  a  letter  from  Ljclia ;  and  as  brother 
and  sister  will  leave  for  Sand\Yicb  in  a  day  or  two,  I 
will  have  a  page  or  two  filled  to  send  by  tliem.  I  was 
very  glad  that  sister  came  up  to  the  Anniversaries.  It 
was  very  pleasant  to  me  to  see  her,  and  I  think  she 
enjoyed  the  meetings,  although  of  course  it  was  very 
fatiguing  to  her  to  attend  them.  She  has  taken  some 
cold  w^hich  affected  her  head  ver}^  unpleasantly ;  but  she 
is  now  better.  I  did  not  go  to  every  meeting  ;  for  it  is 
more  than  a  frail  mortal  can  bear  to  attend  them  all. 
Besides,  I  am  commanded  by  the  doctor  to  avoid  excite- 
ment, and  to  exercise  very  moderately.  The  meetings 
have  been  very  interesting  this  spring ;  the  Seamen's 
Friend  Society  in  particular.  I  presume  you  have  read 
an  account  of  them  in  the  Eecorder.  It  is  wonderful  to 
see  the  multitude  of  people  who  attend  these  meetings. 
Several  were  held  in  different  places  at  the  same  hour  ; 
and  each  was  filled  to  overflowing.  Old  Mrs.  F.  is  with 
her  son  ;  she  went  over  to  the  Anniversaries  one  day. 
She  enjoyed  the  meetings,  but  the  noise  and  excitement 
were  too  much  for  her.  I  attended  on  four  days, 
although  I  was  not  able  to  remain  entirely  through 
each  day.  My  head  and  heart  trouble  me  ;  and  some 
of  the  time  I  was  excessively  fatigued ;  but  I  cannot 
bear  to  give  up  as  long  as  I  can  go  ;  there  is  so  much 
to  interest  and  instruct. 

"  I  saw  Mrs.  Hooker  at  the  meetings ;  but  she  had 
no  time  to  visit  Chelsea,  as  she  had  to  return  to  Brain- 
tree  on  Friday.     Her  mother  is  very  feeble,  being  now 


ninety  years  of  age.  Soon  slie  must  put  off  tliis  earthly 
tabernacle,  and  enter  anotlicr,  I  trust  a  brighter  world. 
Mrs.  H.  was  very  well  and  very  desirous  to  see  you  all. 
I  think  she  will  come  to  Sandwich  this  summer.  I 
met  her  at  the  morning  prayer  meeting  which  was  held 
at  Park  street  church ;  and  at  the  close  of  the  meeting 
we  went  together  to  a  mutual  friend's  in  Colonnade 
Row,  opposite  the  Mall.  This  was  on  Thursday,  the 
day  of  the  great  Temperance  Celebration,  and  we  had 
quite  a  'tete-a-tete,'  though  in  the  midst  of  a  crowd. 
The  concourse  of  people  in  the  streets  was  immense. 
The  constant  hum  of  human  voices,  the  trampling  of 
horses,  the  rolling  of  wheels,  and  the  shouting  of  a 
multitude  of  boys  were  enough  to  confuse  and  deafen 
any  one  whose  head  was  not  made  of  iron.  It  was 
interesting  to  see  so  many  of  our  youth  assembled  on 
this  occasion.  Whole  families  came  in  from  the  country, 
and  took  up  their  abode  upon  the  common  for  the  day ; 
resting  in  groups  upon  the  grass  which  never  looked 
more  beautiful.  There  they  stayed,  eating  and  drinking 
and  caring  for  their  little  ones,  and  all  seemed  the 
happiest  of  the  happy.  The  day  was  beautiful ;  it  could 
not  have  been  more  so.  The  air  was  just  cool  enough ; 
and  it  seemed  as  if  Providence  smiled  on  the  occasion. 
Stagings  were  erected  upon  diflPerent  parts  of  the  com- 
mon, and  speakers  upon  each  platform  were  advocating 
temperance  at  the  top  of  their  lungs.  It  was  a  sight 
altogether  novel  for  the  '  city  of  notions ; '  but  never 
was  there  a  more  glorious  one  since  tlie  day  that  the 
British  troops  evacuated  the  city.  The  eye  of  the 
friends  of  virtue  and  order  could  rest  on  this  spectacle 
with  pleasure  :  for  with  cold  water  for  its  foundation  no 

BIOGRAPHY   OF   MRS.   LYDIA   R.    BACON.  207 

melanclioly  consequences  could  be  expected.  Tliero 
were  booths  around  the  outside  of  tbe  common  filled 
with  an  abundance  of  edibles  ;  and  tea  and  coffee  were 
supplied  to  those  who  wished  to  drink  something 
strono'cr  than  water.  I  was  amused  with  the  siirht  of 
several  boys  who  held  a  boiled  lobster  in  one  liand  and 
an  orange  in  the  other,  and  seemed  to  enjoy  both 

"  I  am  sorry,  dear  mother,  to  hear  that  you  are  not 
so  well  as  usual ;  I  hope  that  you  will  be  better  soon. 
The  older  we  grow,  of  course  we  shall  feel  our  infirmi- 
ties the  more  ;  and  the  time  must  come  when  we  shall 
be  called  to  quit  these  tabernacles  of  clay.  Then,  if  we 
are  Christ^s  we  shall  go  where  there  will  be  no  more 
sickness  and  pain,  and  no  more  death.  Oh,  may  we 
each  be  ready  for  our  summons  when  it  shall  come. 
Dear  mother,  I  trust  that  your  lamp  is  trimmed  and 
burning  and  you  waiting  to  enter  into  the  joy  of  your 
Lord.  Oh  for  more  faith  !  This  is  what  we  need  ;  then 
should  we  live  near  to  God  ;  maintaining  a  constant 
communion  with  him,  and  beholding  his  divine  attri- 
butes with  joy,  vronder  and  praise.  I  do  have  glimpses 
of  this  blessedness  ;  yet  oh,  how  transient  they  are.  I 
wish  I  could  find  words  to  express  what  I  would  say  on 
this  subject.  Pray  for  your  child,  dearest  mother ;  that 
her  faith  and  love  may  be  increased  ;  and  her  hope  sure 
and  steadfast  like  an  anchor  to  the  soul. 

"  Brother  and  sister  have  gone  to  pass  the  day  with 
sister  Anna,  and  I  shall  join  them  there  in  the  after- 
noon. The  omnibus  will  take  me  up  at  my  own  door 
and  land  me  at  Anna's. 

"  I  suppose  the  country  looks  beautifully  now  and 

208  BIOGRAPnY   OF   MRS.    LYDIA   B.    BACON. 

that  Sandwich  is  in  its  summer  glory.  I  often  think 
while  contemplating  the  works  of  nature,  if  this  world 
is  so  heautiful  with  so  much  to  mar  its  loveliness,  what 
must  be  the  glories  of  the  better  land.  There  no  sin 
can  stain  or  sorrow  blight ;  and  the  light  of  the  sun 
and  moon  which  here  are  so  necessary  to  our  being  will 
be  wholly  superseded  by  the  bright  shining  of  the  Sun 
of  Eighteousness.  Oh  for  a  home  in  that  heavenly 
city  ! 

O  C-  -<.♦  ■'.>-  O  '•Jp 

"  I  desire  to  see  you  very  much,  and  hope  I  may  be 
able  to  visit  you  in  July.  I  shall  try  to  be  with  you 
over  the '  Fourth '  if  possible.  With  love  to  all  inquiring 

**  I  am  your  affectionate  child, 

"  Ltdia." 

To  the  same. 

Avgust  IStJi,  1844. 
"  My  dear  Mother, — I  hasten  to  improve  the  first 
moment  of  leisure  since  my  return,  to  inform  you  of  my 
safe  arrival  home.  What  a  blessing  to  be  carried  out 
and  brought  back  in  safety.  '  The  Lord  is  my  keeper.' 
More  than  ever  before,  I  think  I  have  realized  this  in 
my  visit  to  Sandwich  at  this  time.  The  morning  I  left 
you,  my  heart  was  full,  and  yet  I  dared  not  give  vent 
to  my  feelings  both  on  your  account  and  my  own.  I 
am  obliged  to  avoid  excitement  as  much  as  possible  ; 
and  it  is  religion  as  well  as  philosophy  to  endure 
patiently  what  we  cannot  cure.  The  morning  of  our 
journey  home  was  most  delightful.  There  was  a  fine 
breeze,  a  nice  stage  coach,  the  roads  were  good  and  vre 


liad  but  one  fell  )W  passenger.  This  was  a  gentleman 
by  the  name  of  Parker,  a  Baptist  brother,  and  a  very 
good  man :  he  was  acquainted  with  father  Bacon  and 
wife.  The  ride  was  very  pleasant  with  the  exception 
of  a  little  dust ;  and  when  wc  reached  Plymouth, 
although  the  boat  was  just  coming  in,  we  concluded  to 
continue  on  in  the  stage.  Eemembering  that  I  was 
troubled  with  sea-sickness  in  coming  up  by  the  boat  last 
summer,  I  concluded  this  time  to  prefer  earth  to  water 
and  liorses  to  steam.  But  I  was  not  very  wise.  At  the 
hotel  where  the  stage  usually  stops  for  dinner,  they 
provide  no  dinner  on  boat  days  ;  as  most  of  the  passen- 
gers prefer  the  boat.  So  we  dined  on  berries  and  milk 
with  a  cup  of  weak  tea ;  and  our  repast  being  soon 
ended  we  resumed  our  journey.  At  Weymouth,  we 
took  in  several  additional  passengers,  but  not  so  many 
as  to  make  it  disagreeable.  The  dust  however  soon 
increased  until  it  was  tremendous,  and  nearly  choked 
us.  Still  I  tried  to  enjoy  the  ride  as  much  as  possible. 
The  country  never  looked  more  beautiful.  The  trees 
were  loaded  with  fruit ;  and  the  fields  were  covered  with 
every  thing  necessary  for  the  sustenance  of  man  and 
beast.  All  showed  the  goodness  of  our  heavenly 
Pather  in  supplying  the  wants  of  his  dependent  crea- 
tures. Oh  that  men  might  be  sensible  from  whom  all 
their  blessings  flow  ;  and  render  the  praise  and  grati- 
tude which  is  his  due. 

"About  five  in  the  afternoon,  I  was  landed  in  Boston 
at  Chelsea  omnibus  office.  But  the  coach  had  just  gone. 
So  I  left  my  name  with  instructions  for  them  to  call 
for  me  at  No.  2  Derne  street,  and  walked  up  School 
street,  where  I  accomplished  some  errands,  thus  saving 

210  BIOGRAniT  OF  MRS.   LYDIA  B.   BACO^T. 

the  necessity  of  another  jaunt  to  the  city  on  purpose. 
At  sister  S's  I  washed  and  dusted  myself,  and  partook 
of  some  refreshments.  After  which  I  waited  in  vain 
for  the  omnihus  to  call ;  and  at  length  ascertained  that 
having  a  full  load  they  had  left  me.  So  meeting  my 
hushand,  I  walked  with  him  to  the  ferry  ;  and  by  the 
time  I  reached  home  was  exceedingly  fatigued.  I  found 
all  well ;  and  nothing  unfortunate  had  occurred  daring 
my  absence. 

*' Mrs.  Foster  had  called,  and  also  Mrs.  Swain  from 
New  Bedford.  The  latter  told  my  hushand  that  Eliza- 
beth was  going  to  Sandwich  ;  so  I  suppose  she  is  with 
you  now.  Yesterday  the  Collector  visited  us  with  Capt. 
Sturgis  and  the  Postmaster.  He  seemed  very  much 
pleased  with  the  appearance  of  things,  though  he  could 
make  no  comparison  in  our  favor,  having  never  been  at 
the  Hospital  before.  He  thought  however,  that  the 
garden  must  be  a  very  great  improvement  to  the  pros- 
pect in  front.  The  Collector  is  a  fine  looking  man  and 
very  pleasant  in  his  manners. 

*'  I  do  not  feel  well  to-day,  and  am  constantly  re- 
minded how  short  may  be  my  stay  on  earth.  Mother, 
do  remember  your  child  in  your  prayers.  How  fleeting 
is  time  !  My  life  in  the  retrospect  seems  like  a  series 
of  dreams.  First  from  childhood  to  youth;  then  to 
womanhood  ;  next  in  the  army  ;  afterward  at  Sackett's 
Harbor ;  then  at  Sandwich  ;  and  now  in  Chelsea.  In 
all  these  periods  how  the  goodness  and  mercy  of  God 
has  encompassed  me  and  provided  for  me.  '  AVhat  shall 
I  render  unto  the  Lord  for  all  his  benefits?'  The 
summer  is  nearly  gone.  I  hope,  should  we  all  live  till 
next  month  and  your  healtli  permits  Abby  to  leave, 


that  wc  sliall  have   a  good  visit  from  licr.     Remcm'ber 
us  to  all  friends,  especially  to  Lrotlier  and  fiimily,  and 
to  Maria  and  hers.     Good-bye,  dear  mother. 
"  From  yours  ever, 

''  Lydia  B.  Bacon/^ 

To  Mrs.  B.,  of  Sackett's  Harbor. 

''  Septemher  M,  1844. 

"  I  suppose  that  ere  this  our  dear  Harriet  has 
returned  to  her  peaceful  home  and  to  the  embrace  of  her 
best  of  mothers.  We  were  delighted  on  receiving  your 
letter  informing  us  of  her  intended  call  on  us,  and  Tve 
awaited  her  arrival  most  eagerly.  We  enjoyed  it  very 
much ;  but  its  brevity,  and  her  engagements  with  her 
party,  together  with  mine  to  our  sewing-circle,  (which 
met  at  our  house  on  Wednesday,)  prevented  me  from 
paying  her  such  attentions  as  I  wished  to  render.  I 
hope  she  enjoyed  her  little  visit,  notwithstanding  these 
drawbacks.  It  was  very  s^'eet  to  me  to  have  the 
privilege  of  once  more  beholding  the  beloved  child  of 
my  dear  and  tried  friend.  What  a  blessing  she  is  to 
you.  You  are  lonely,  I  know,  at  times  ;  but  how  much 
more  desolate  would  be  your  widowed  heart  had  you  not 
this  treasure  left  as  a  companion  and  solace  in  your 
bereavement.  Oh,  that  she  may  be  spared  to  comfort 
and  support  your  declining  years. 

"  I  hope,  should  our  lives  be  spared,  that  we  may 
meet  again,  either  here  or  at  the  Harbor,  though  here- 
tofore it  has  seemed  hardly  possible.  Be  that  as  it  may, 
there  is  a  laiid  where  we  shall  meet  to  part  no  more ; 
there  we  shall  delio-ht  to  recount  the  wonderful  dealings 

212  BIOGEAPHY   OF   MRS.    LYDIA   B.    BACON. 

of  our  lieavenly  Father  witli  us  in  this  pilgrimage  state ; 
there  ^ve  shall  worship  our  God  and  Eedeemer  vrithout 
the  encunihrances  which  now  hurden  us,  and — oh,  de- 
lio'htful  thouo'ht ! — ivitliout  sin. 

"  S'pt  4,th.  Tliis  is  one  of  the  most  delightful  after- 
noons that  you  can  possihly  imagine.  The  air  is  bland 
and  sweet,  and  all  nature  smiles,  renewing  the  evidence 
of  the  goodness  of  its  divine  Creator.  I  am  seated 
near  the  window  of  our  front  chamber  ;  the  tide  is  full, 
and  the  steamboat  with  untiring  speed  is  conveying  its 
living  freight  across  the  ferry.  Some  are  hieing  to  the 
city,  to  pursue  their  business  or  pleasure  ;  others  are 
flying  from  its  crowded  and  dusty  thoroughfares  to 
inhale  the  pure  air  and  enjoy  the  comparative  quiet  of 
Chelsea.  Many  small  boats  are  upon  the  river,  spread- 
ing their  white  sails  to  the  gentle  breeze  which  moves 
them  on  as  if  by  magic.  As  I  cast  my  eye  over  the 
whole  scene,  which  includes  our  good  city,  with  its  State- 
house  dome,  Bunker  Hill,  vrith  its  proud  monument, 
and  the  busy  town  in  the  midst  of  which  it  rears  its 
lofty  head,  the  river,  with  our  own  beautiful  garden 
sloping  almost  to  its  banks,  my  heart  overflows  with 
delight,  and  I  wish  that  you  were  here  to  enjoy  it  with 
me.  I  was  very  much  gratified  in  seeing  S.  and  his 
wife.  He  reminds  me  of  his  dear  mother,  to  whom  I 
shall  ever  feel  much  indebted.  Not  only  do  I  owe  her 
much  useful  knowledge,  but  also  the  stimulus  which 
her  example  afforded  me  to  improve  the  talents  for 
doing  good  committed  to  me  by  our  heavenly  Father. 
Although  I  was  often  a  dull  scholar,  yet  I  think  I  did 
feel  a  desire  to  do  my  duty.  As  these  and  many  other 
things  connected  with  my  acquaintance  with  the  differ- 

BIOGRAPHY   OF   MRS.    LYDIA   B.    BACOX.  213 

ent  brandies  of  your  dciir  family  come  up  in  review  be- 
fore me,  tlie  tbougbt  that  so  many  of  these  loved  friends 
are  gone  to  return  no  more  fills  me  with  sadness.  I 
cannot  forget  old  friends ;  the  recollection  of  their 
virtues  and  of  their  many  kindnesses  to  one  so  unworthy 
as  myself  will  never  leave  me.  May  all  these  reflec- 
tions and  enjoyments  be  so  sanctified  to  me  that  I  may 
be  led  to  glorify  God  in  all  I  do,  or  say,  or  think. 

"  I  visited,  my  dear  aged  mother  and  found  her  com- 
fortable considering  her  years,  which  now  number  four 
score  and  four.  When  I  left  her  I  could  not  help  feel- 
ing as  I  pressed  her  to  my  heart  that  it  might  be  our 
last  embrace,  for  I  consider  my  life  as  uncertain  as  hers, 
though  not  from  the  same  cause.  My  sister  J.  was  also 
at  Sandwich  with  her  family.  So  my  mother  had  all 
her  children  and  grand-children  once  more  around  her. 

"  Our  house  is  now  very  full  of  patients,  but  we  have 
none  distressingly  sick.  Indeed,  we  have  been  highly 
favored  in  having  little  severe  illness  or  death  for  the 
last  six  months.  My  dear  Josiali  sends  his  kindest 
regards  to  you  and  Harriet,  with  many  wishes  for  your 
present  and  future  good.  Adieu,  my  much  loved  sister. 
May  heaven's  richest  blessings  ever  attend  you,  is  the 
prayer  of 

"  Your  affectionate, 

"  L.  B.  Bacox.^' 

The  following  brief  letter  to  her  sister,  Mrs.  T.,  gives 
a  lively  description  of  some  of  her  occupations  and  en- 
joyments. The  compiler  of  these  pages  can  well  appre- 
ciate the  allusions  to  the  fine  melons  with  which  Mrs- 
B's  company  were  entertained,  having  been  often  invited 


with  otlier  friends  to  a  melon  feast  at  lier  table.  Tliose 
wliicli  were  raised  by  Mr.  Bacon  I  never  saw  excelled  in 
size  or  flavor. 

''  Chelsea,  October,  1844 
'^  I  suppose  mj  dear  sister  is  by  tbis  time  safe  at 
bome,  congratulating  berself  tbat  sbe  bas  sucb  a  quiet 
abode,  and  thankful  tbat  sbe  is  not  in  Lydia's  place. 
Well,  it  is  a  great  blessing  to  know  when  we  are  well 
off,  and  I  am  glad  tbat  you  are  one  of  the  wise  ones. 

"  We  bad  a  tremendous  blow  last  night,  and  the 
weather  is  very  unpleasant  to-day.  But  I  shall  not 
mourn  about  it,  since  it  prevents  me  from  going  out  or 
from  receiving  company,  and  thus  affords  me  the  oppor- 
tunity which  I  much  desired  of  writing  to  you.  Shall 
I  tell  you  some  of  my  occupations  and  engagements 
since  you  left?  I  commence  with  the  morning  of  your 
departure.  As  the  omnibus  rolled  from  the  door,  bear- 
ing away  my  precious  A ,  I  fled  to  Miss  Cheney's 

kitchen.  There,  amid  the  fumes  of  pepper  and  vinegar, 
boiling  hot,  (which  were  preparing  to  pickle  the  dear 
little  cucumbers  that  I  showed  you,)  I  endeavored  to 
drive  away  any  lurking  sensitiveness  which  would  unfit 
me  for  the  duties  I  had  to  do.  I  made  one  kettle  full 
of    tlie    aforesaid  spicy   mixture,    and   was   preparing 

another  when  Mrs.  T.,  with  Capt.  G and  wife,  was 

announced.  Well,  I  walked  up  stairs,  although  looking, 
(as  far  as  outward  habiliments  were  concerned,)  like 
any  thing  but  a  lady,  and  making  no  apologies  I  gave 
my  friends  a  cordial  greeting.  After  which,  (of  course,) 
I  retired  to  make  myself  more  presentable,  and  enjoj^ed 
their  unexpected  visit  very  much.     Dinner  was  served 


up  in   Haniiali's  best  stylo,  with  plenty  of  melons  for 

"  111  tlie  evening  Mr.  Langwortliy  came  -witli  liis 
wife's  sister  and  Dr.  F.  and  wife  :  so  we  liad  anotlier 
melon  feast,  which  all  seemed  to  enjoy  verj  much. 
Since  then  I  have  had  a  constant  succession  of  company. 
Dr.  L.  was  with  us  a  fortnight,  and  of  course  we  had 
his  friends  occasionally.     A  friend  of  Dr.  D.  came  and 

passed  a  night,  and  Mrs.  W was  here  tlie  same 

day.     Mrs.  Lord  also,  with  D and  her  daughter, 

came  to  spend  the  afternoon,  and  the  omnibus  failing 
to  call  for  them,  they  were  obliged  to  spend  the  night. 
A  day  or  two  since  I  went  into  the  kitchen  to  make 
another  attempt  at  pickling  cucumbers  ;  but  it  ended 
as  before  in  getting  myself  into  '  a  pickle.'     For  Mrs. 

W s,  whose  visit  had  been  long  promised,  called  to 

pass  the  day  with  me,  and  just  as  we  were  going  in  to 
dinner  Capt.  B's  daughter  was  announced.  In  addition 
to  this  our  sewing-circle  met  in  the  afternoon,  and  as  I 
have  the  honor  and  the  task  of  presiding  I  could  not 
omit  attendance.  So  I  went,  and  took  the  ladies  with 

"  Yesterday  I  visited  all  the  wards,  (containing 
eighty  persons,)  and  conversed  with  each  soul.  Among 
them  I  found  some  cases  of  much  interest.  One  was  a 
Christian  in  the  blessed  enjoyment  of  religion.  Another 
was  a  backslider  awakened  and  desirous  of  returning 
to  duty.  He  discarded  his  old  hope,  and  seemed 
humbly  seeking  the  face  and  favor  of  God.  I  said 
what  seemed  proper  for  his  case,  and  commended  him  to 
Him  who  heareth  prayer.     Do  you  remember  B , 


the  mail  that  I  told  you  was  so  irritable  the  first  time 
I  saw  him  ?  Last  evening  he  came  into  my  room  and 
"beo'ffed  to  converse  with  me.  He  referred  to  what  he 
said  at  tliat  first  interview,  and  besought  me  to  forgive 
him  for  his  rudeness.  He  then  told  me  that  he  felt 
himself  to  be  a  great  sinner  ;  that  he  had  ere  this  had 
strong  convictions  of  sin,  and  the  Holy  Spirit  had 
striven  with  him  when  tossed  upon  the  ocean  waves. 
He  said  that  he  had  grieved  away  this  blessed  Spirit, 
and  having  sinned  against  so  much  light  he  feared  that 
his  day  of  grace  was  past.  He  had  been  piously 
educated,  but  at  the  age  of  sixteen  had  broken  loose 
from  home  and  friends  and  went  to  sea.  He  wept 
much  while  talking,  and  said  it  seemed  as  if  his  heart 
would  break.  I  tried  to  lead  him  to  the  sinner's  friend. 
But  oh,  '  who  is  sufficient  for  these  things  ?'  Pray  for 
your  poor  sister, 

"LydiaB.  Bacoi^." 

To  her  Mother. 

*'  Chelsea,  Nov.  19,  1844. 
"  Well,  my  dear  mother,  I  suppose  you  have  amused 
yourself  a  little  as  usual,  in  watching  tJic  election.     The 

important  day  is  past ;  and  Mr.  P is  to  be  our  next 

President.  AVhat  the  consequences  will  be,  time  alone 
will  determine.  Should  Texas  be  annexed,  I  fear  the 
chains  of  the  poor  slave  will  be  riveted  more  strongly 
than  ever.  We  have  no  children  to  be  affected  by  bad 
legislation,  but  I  trust  we  are  imtriots  and  feel  a  deep 
concern  for  the  weal  and  honor  of  our  country.  And  I 
hope  that  we  have  benevolence  enough  to  feel  for 
suffering  humanity  everywhere.     One  fact  does  console 

BIOGRAPUY   OF   MRS.    LYDIA   B.    BACON.  217 

me  tlirougli  all  clianges,  Avlietlier  prosperous  or  adverse, 
*  The  Lord  reignetli.'  He  can  bring  order  out  of  con- 
fusion ;  and  can  cause  the  present  disappointment  to 
result  in  the  best  good  of  his  people  and  the  triumph  of 
his  cause.     Let  us  trust  his  overrulino;  hand. 

"  We  were  very  sorry,  dear  mother,  to  hear  that  you 
had  been  so  unwell ;  and  it  was  quite  a  relief  to  us  t" 
see  your  hand-writing  once  more.  Thus  are  you  spared 
from  time  to  time,  to  serve  your  Maker  a  little  longer ; 
to  put  up  a  few  more  prayers  for  your  children,  your 
friends,  and  a  dying  world  ;  and  so  to  grow  in  grace 
that  you  may  be  meetened  and  prepared  for  your 
heavenly  inheritance.  Mr.  Barnes,  the  young  man 
whom  I  mentioned  in  my  last  letter  to  Sister  Abby, 
has  left  the  Hospital  and  gone  to  sea.  I  trust  he  is  a 
new  man  in  Christ  Jesus  ;  he  seems  to  be  deeply  in 
earnest.  He  belongs  to  a  good  family,  has  pious  parents 
and  sisters,  and  is  very  intelligent  and  of  pleasing 
manners.  He  says  that  every  thing  connected  with  the 
Hospital  will  ever  be  pleasantly  associated  in  his  mind. 
When  I  first  conversed  with  him  upon  serious  things,  he 
was  very  unpleasant  to  me.  But  he  was  soon  convinced 
of  his  sins,  and  came  with  tears  to  ask  my  forgiveness 
and  prayers.  When  he  saw  his  guilt  in  the  light  of 
God's  truth,  the  sight  was  almost  too  much  for  him. 
Oh,  how  deeply  I  felt  my  insufficiency  to  guide  his 
anxious  soul  to  Jesus.  I  could  only  pray,  '  Lord,  open 
the  eyes  of  this  young  man  that  he  may  see  '  '  the 
Lamb  of  God  which  taketh  away  the  sin  of  the  world.' 
I  was  overwhelmed  with  a  remark  made  to  me  the  other 
day,  by  Kev.  Mr.  Springer.  Said  he,  '  you  need  much 
'personal  inety,  Mrs.  Bacon,  to  qualify  you  for  your  duties 



here.^  My  hearfc  responded,  'yes,  I  do  indeed,'  and 
conscience  loudly  reproached  me  witli  my  deficiency. 
Oh,  for  more  grace  and  strength  to  overcome  the  world 
without,  and  the  easily  besetting  sins  within. 

"  But  to  return  to  my  young  sailor  friend.  He  has 
written  to  his  parents  while  here  and  has  had  beautiful 
letters  from  them.  Never  shall  I  forget  the  animation 
and  love  which  beamed  from  his  countenance,  as  he 
brought  in  one  for  me  to  read.  With  eagerness  he 
unfolded  it  and  displaying  its  full  pages,  exultingly 
said,  '  see,  see ;  this  is  a  letter  from  7111/  dear  mother ! ' 
Then  turning  it  over  to  show  me  that  every  part  was 
closely  written,  '  how  full  it  is,^  he  said,  and  the  tears 
mingled  with  the  smiles.  Oh,  could  Christian  mothers 
realize  as  I  did  then,  the  hold  which  their  instructions, 
and  prayers,  and  tender  love  have  upon  their  offspring, 
they  would  never  despair.  I  hope  Barnes  may  be 
strengthened  to  resist  temptation  and  lead  a  godly  life. 
Dear  mother,  when  you  pray  for  the  sailor,  oh,  remem- 
ber Jiim,  We  have  a  little  French  boy  from  Paris  with 
us.  He  amuses  me  often  with  his  imperfect  English. 
He  came  to  my  room  a  few  days  since,  to  beg  a  needle 
and  some  thread.  '  Ma'am,'  said  he,  '  nofer  boy  want 
some  needle  and  tread ;  but  he  shame  to  come  ask  it. 
I  tell  him,  he  no  need  shame  or  fraid  ;  for  you  is  de 
best  woman  I  see  since  I  come  to  'Merica.'  I  replied 
that  '  he  had  not  seen  mani/  then.'  '  Oh,  yes,  ma'am, 
I  have,'  was  his  quick  response  ;  '  but  I  never  see  one 
dat  give  me  every  ting  I  ask  for.'  I  gave  him  the 
needles  and  thread,  a  bag  to  put  clothes  in,  a  piece  of 
paper  to  draw  a  vessel  on,  and  some  '  ginger  ubber,'  as 
he  calls  it,   to   rub   out   his   pencil   marks,    and   thus 

BIOGRAPHY   OF   MRS.    LYDIA   B.    BACON.  219 

added  to  liis  feelings  and  expressions  of  gratitude  and 
obligation.  He  lias  the  fever  and  ague  often,  and 
amuses  me  with  his  description  of  it.  *  It  very  bad, 
ma'am ;  it  catch  me  right  in  de  legs,  and  come  up  in  de 
back  and  into  de  stomach,  and  make  me  shake  so,'  suit- 
ing the  action  to  the  word  like  any  Frenchman.  It  is 
sometimes  hard  work  to  keep  my  countenance  while 
talking  with  him.  He  has  a  very  honest,  open  face  and 
soft  dark  eyes.  I  cannot  but  feel  greatly  interested  for 

"  I  cannot  write  more  at  present.     Josiah  joins  me  in 

a  kiss  of  affectionate  regard.     Love  to  A and  all 

friends.  Your  affectionate  child, 

"  L.  B.  Bacon." 

To  the  same. 

''December  18,  1844. 

*'  My  dear  Mother : — The  date  of  this  letter  reminds 

me  that  another  year  of  my  unprofitable  life  is  drawing 

to  a  close.     Every  day  seems  to  glide  away  with  more 

rapidity  than  the  preceding  ;  and  this  fact  admonishes 

me  that  with  me,  time  will  soon  be  gone  forever.     Oh, 

how  important  that  I  so  improve  each  passing  hour  as  to 


*  Some  good  account  at  last.' 

My  responsibilities  are  great ;  and  I  need  much  grace 
to  enable  me  to  discharge  them  aright.  May  He  who 
for  wise  reasons  has  placed  me  in  this  sphere,  give  me 
strength  equal  to  my  day. 

I  received  a  few  lines  from  you  by  sister  Anna,  and 
was  rejoiced  to  find  you  were  so  comfortable.     It  is  a 

220  CIOGRAPHY   OF   MRS.    LTDIA  B.    BACON. 

great  favor  to  be  able  to  v^ait  upon  one's  self,  even  if 
our  friends  are  ready  and  willing  to  care  for  us.  Sister 
A.  came  to  see  us  last  Monday  week.  We  were  not 
interrupted  by  calls,  and  had  the  day  all  to  ourselves. 
I  enjoyed  it  very  luucb  and  I  believe  she  did,  too.  Last 
Monday  I  was  at  her  house,  but  could  only  stay  for  a 
short  call,  and  did  not  see  her.    I  go  to  Boston  but  about 

once  in  three  weeks ;  and  sister  A has  so  many 

engagements  that  she  cannot  come  here  very  often  ;  so 
we  do  not  see  each  other  as  frequently  as  I  could  wish. 
But  it  is  a  comfort  to  know  that  she  is  where  I  can  see 
her  when  I  go  to  the  city.     They  had  just  received  a 

letter  from  J ,"'  which  relieved  their  anxieties.     His 

letter  must  have  been  retarded  by  some  means  on  the 
way.  He  wrote  that  he  was  expecting  his  wife  in  the 
vessel  with  Mr.  Eiehards.  He  will  be  sadly  disappointed 
at  not  seeing  her  ;  as  he  is  now  at  house-keeping.  His 
situation  and  prospects  are  good ;  and  he  wants  nothing 
but  his  family  to  make  him  as  happy  as  he  could  ask. 
I  was  thinking  when  I  heard  from  him,  how  often  I  had 
wished  that  some  of  the  dear  children  of  our  families 
might  become  missionaries.  This  is  not  yet  granted. 
But  in  another  way,  one  of  tliem  has  been  stationed 
among  those  who  are  just  emerging  from  heathenism; 
and  I  trust  in  many  important  respects  he  will  be  useful 
there.  He  continues  to  speak  with  warm  affection  of 
Dr.  Judd  and  wife ;  and  it  does  give  me  much  pleasure 
that  he  has  such  friends  there,  who  beside  their  attach- 
ment to  him,  are  so  able  to  counsel  and  advise  him. 
How  does  this  carry  me  back  to  the  childhood  of  both 

*  A  nephew  of  Mrs.  Bacon's,  at  the  Sandwich  Islands, 

BIOGRAPHY   OF   MR?.    LYDIA   B.    BACO>r.  221 

Mrs.  Judd  and   our  J ;  and  in  connection  witli  my 

relations  to  botli,  liow  strange  does  tlieir  present  meeting 
seem  in  another  quarter  of  the  gdobe.  Little  did  I 
think  tliat  the  affectionate  little  girl  who  smootlied  my 
pillow  when  I  was  sick  and  weary  at  Sackett's  Harbor, 
and  did  all  she  could  to  comfort  and  assist  me  when  far 
away  from  my  mother  and  friends,  and  whom  I  in  turn 
delighted  to  instruct  to  the  best  of  my  poor  abilities, 
should,  when  grown  to  womanhood,  be  (with  her  gc)od 
husband)  the  chosen  friend  of  my  dear  sister's  son. 
'  Truth  is  stranger  than  fiction.'  Methinks,  dear  mother, 
I  see  yourself  and  Abby  sitting  in  your  snug  little 
parlor,  cosily  chatting  of  absent  friends.  Perhaps  sister 
Lifdia  is  spoken  of — and  A.  wishes  she  knew  what  L. 
is  about.  Well,  I'll  tell  her.  We  are  going  to  give  our 
good  minister  a  donation  party.  We  shall  not  make 
him  rich  ;  but  we  wish  to  give  him  some  substantial 
tokens  of  our  reo-ard.  The  visit  will  be  on  Christmas 
Eve.  Contrary  to  the  usual  custom  in  such  cases,  we 
have  decided  to  have  no  refreshments  on  the  occasion. 
As  my  name  was  put  on  the  committee  of  arrangements, 
I  took  the  liberty  to  advise  that  we  should  dispense 
with  the  eating  'process.  It  always  seemed  ridiculous  to 
me  that  a  people  should  carry  their  own  food  to  eat  at 
their  pastor's  house,  and  thus  make  a  deal  of  unneces- 
sary trouble.  And  it  would  be  worse  still  to  allow  him 
to  provide  refreshments  for  three  or  four  hundred  people. 
In  such  a  case,  a  minister  might  well  exclaim,  '  save  mo 

from  my  friends.'     The  Rev.  Mr.  B ,  of  ,  at  a 

donation  party  given  him,  had  such  a  superabundance 
of  cooked  provisions    sent  in,  that  he   had   to    take  a 
Avagon  the  next  day  and  carry  it  round  to   the  poor. 


My  suggestion  Tvas  well  received  and  seemed  to  meei 
tlic  approbation  of  the  sensible  portion  of  the  com- 
munity. So  we  decided  to  be  singular  in  this  respect, 
and  I  do  not  fear  that  we  shall  regret  it.  We  expect 
to  have  a  pleasant  social  and  religious  visit ;  and  hope 
it  will  be  the  means  of  promoting  our  unanimity,  and 
building  up  the  cause  of  Christ  in  our  midst.  Our 
pastor  is  much  engaged  in  his  Master's  work  ;  and  w^e 
are  expecting  good  days  in  Zion.  ^  ^  '■" 
A — —  tells  me  that  you  received  tJie  grapes  in  good 
order.  They  vrere  given  to  me  ;  and  I  was  happy  in 
the  opportunity  of  sending  a  part  of  them  to  you. 
Anna  Maria  and  Isabella  passed  a  few  hours  with  us 
to-day.  Mrs.  Walton  also  came ;  she  was  one  of  my 
youthful  friends,  and  I  had  not  seen  her  for  some  years. 
The  girls  have  not  been  here  this  winter  until  now. 
They  have  a  multitude  of  engagements.  I  was  very 
glad  to  see  them.  Give  my  love  to  all  the  dear  friends. 
I  remain,  dear  mother,  your  affectionate  child, 

"Lydia  B.  Bacon.'' 

Mrs.  Judd,  the  lady  referred  to  in  the  preceding 
letter  as  a  resident  at  the  Sandwich  Islands,  first  made 
Mrs.  Bacon's  acquaintance  during  the  residence  of  the 
latter  at  Sackett's  Harbor.  She  was  then  a  motherless 
little  girl,  and  resided  with  a  relative,  in  whose  family 
Mrs.  B.  was  then  a  boarder.  Mrs.  B.,  with  her  usual 
affectionate  regard  for  chiklren,  soon  became  deeply  in- 
terested in  the  little  L.  Every  afternoon  she  called  the 
child  to  her  room  and  gave  lier  instruction  in  reading 
and  needlework,  filling  her  mind  with  useful  knowledge 
and  counsel,  and  seekino'  to  lead  her  heart  to  him  who 

]3I0GKAPIIY   OF   MRS.   LYDIA   E.    BACOX.  223 

lias  permitted  the  orphan  to  say,  ''"When  my  father  and 
mother  forsake  me,  then  the  Lord  will  take  me  up."  It 
was  this  same  little  L.  who,  after  obtaining  an  accom- 
plished education,  and  grown  to  he  a  lovely  and 
pious  woman,  -was  now  residing,  as  the  beloved  wife  of  a 
missionary,  at  the  Sandwich  Islands.  She  has  frankly 
acknowledged  that  a  few  words  which  IMrs.  Bacon  said 
to  her  while  a  child  gave  her  the  first  encouragement 
to,  and  aspiration  after  usefulness.  "  From  that  mo- 
ment,'^ says  the  friend  who  gives  me  the  relation  of  this 
interesting  incident,  "  little  L.  really  began  to  live. 
She  commenced  vigorous  exertions  for  self-improvement, 
and  after  struo^irlino;  through  difficulties  which  would 
have  staggered  any  ordinary  mind  secured  a  thorough 
education,  and  went  on  a  mission  to  a  heathen  shore, 
where  she  has  exerted  an  influence  on  the  heathen 
mind  unsurpassed  by  any  female  living.  Truly,  '  the 
words  of  the  wise  are  like  apples  of  gold  in  pictures  of 
silver/  " 

The  next  letter  in  my  possession  is  to  her  friend  Mrs. 
H.  B ,  of  Sackett's  Harbor,  and  is  dated 

"  Chelsea,  April  lotJi,  1845. 
"  My  very  dear  sister  Harriet : — I  perceive  on  re- 
perusing  your  last  valued  epistle  that  it  is  just  two 
months  to-day  since  its  date.  Yes,  two  months  ago 
your  own  hand,  (which  I  have  so  often  pressi'd  in 
friendship's  close  embrace,)  penned,  folded  and  sealed 
the  precious  sheet.  Your  eyes  have  looked  upon  the 
same  paper  which  I  have  now  been  looking  at,  and  your 
affectionate  heart  has  dictated  those  interesting  contents 
w^hich  call  forth  sweet  responsive  emotions  from  mine. 

224  BIOGRAPHY   OF   MRS.    LYDIA  B.    BACON. 

And  I  actual!}^  liokl  in  mi/  hand  that  which  you  have 
made  so  precious  to  me  by  first  taking  it  in  your  own. 
How  pleasant  is  the  thought  to  me,  and  how  valuable  is 
this  method  of  communication  between  kindred  spirits 
whom  Providence  has  separated  too  widely  for  personal 
intercourse.  Yet  far  pleasantcr  would  it  be  to  me,  were 
I  permitted  to  throw  aside  my  pen  and  hold  sweet  con- 
verse with  you  face  to  face.  Gladly  would  I  accept 
your  kind  invitation  to  visit  you  this  summer ;  but  fear 
I  shall  be  obliged  to  defer  it  until  'a  more  convenient 
season,'  and  that  indeed  may  never  come. 

'•  As  yet  we  know  not  what  awaits  us  with  respect  to 
our  present  situation  here ;  but  we  shall  not  long  be 
kept  in  suspense.  Of  course  the  change  of  government 
at  Washington  renders  our  removal  a  matter  of  proba- 
bility. A  new  Collector  has  been  appointed  at  Boston, 
and  whether  he  will  be  propitious  to  us  remains  to  be 
seen.  Let  this  be  as  it  may,  it  will  be  all  right.  Our 
heavenly  Father  knows  what  is  best,  and  he  will  do  all 
things  well.  To  us,  poor  finite  creatures,  it  seems 
desirable  that  w^e  should  stay ;  but  we  are  short-sighted, 
and  know  nothing  aright.  My  great  desire  is  for  a 
submissive  spirit,  and  I  do  think  my  husband  and  my- 
self both  feel  ready  to  acquiesce  in  the  divine  wilL 

"  We  are  rejoiced  to  hear  that  you  enjoy  such  a  good 
degree  of  health.  This  is  the  best  of  heaven's  temporal 
gifts,  without  which  all  other  temporal  good  is  vanity 
indeed,  xind  in  your  lonely  state  it  seems  a  special 
mercy  that  you  have  such  liealth  as  enables  you  to  be 
actively  and  usefully  employed.  May  you  long  enjoy 
tliis  blessing,  and  find  full  scope  for  the  exercise  of  your 
kindly  and  benevolent  feelings. 

BIOaSAPHY   OF   MRS.    LYDIA   B.    BACON.  225 

"  AVe  have  been  called  to  witness  tlie  departure  of 
one  of  our  little  ones.  She  was  the  daughter  of  Dr. 
F.,  who  married  my  niece,  and  was  a  sweet,  interesting 
child  of  four  years.  Hor  disease  was  the  wliooping- 
cougli.  She  loved  music,  and  kept  those  who  liad  the 
care  of  her  singing  the  sweet  hymns  wliich  her  mother 
and  aunts  had  taught  her.  These  seemed  a  store  laid 
up  for  time  of  need,  and  it  was  delightful  to  see  what 
a  comfort  this  treasure  was  to  her.  Almost  at  the  last 
she  requested  her  friends  to  sing  that  beautiful  hymn  of 
Kirke  White : 

*  Oh,  Lord,  another  day  is  flown, 
And  we,  a  lonely  band, 
Are  met  once  more  before  thy  throne, 
To  bless  thy  fostering  hand.' 

Soon  after  this  was  sung  she  was  seized  with  a  convul- 
sion, and  instantly  expired.  She  has  left  a  little  sister 
two  years  older,  (the  only  surviving  child,)  to  mourn 
the  loss  of  her  beloved  little  playmate.  This  is  the 
third  family  here  who  have  lost  their  youngest  recently, 
leaving  them  in  each  instance  only  one  remaining 
child.  But  they  are  all  pious  parents,  and  have  resigned 
their  little  ones  to  him  who  lent  them  for  a  season,  and 
has  recalled  them  to  himself.  We  are  glad  to  hear  that 
you  progress  so  well  with  your  meeting-house,  and  hope 
you  will  soon  have  it  finished  as  you  desire.  May  a 
divine  blessing  attend  all  your  efforts,  and  many  be 
added  to  the  church  of  such  as  shall  be  saved.  We 
have  liad  here  a  few  precious  mercy  drops,  about  twenty 
hopeful  conversions.  The  interest  has  not  yet  entirely 
subsided.  Our  meetings  are  well  attended,  and  the 
pastor  and  church  much  engaged.     We  need  a  powerful 

226  BIOGRAPHY   OF   MRS.    LYDIA   B.    BACO:JT. 

revival  here.  This  is  a  rapidly  increasing  population  ; 
you  would,  I  think,  he  astonished  at  the  change  which 
has  taken  place  since  you  were  here. 

*'  My  niece  A S is   staying  with  us  ;  she 

desires  her  kind  love  to  you  and  Harriet.  She  would 
very  much  like  that  we  should  take  a  trip  to  your  place 
and  hring  her  with  us.  Harriet  told  me  that  she  was 
going  west  this  summer.  AYhat  time  will  she  go?  and 
shall  you  accompany  her  ?  Pray  write  and  let  me 
know,  for  I  should  very  much  deplore  coming  to 
Sackett's  and  finding  that  either  of  you  were  ahsent. 

a  letter  from  Elizabeth  for  some  months.  I  know  she 
has  much  to  do,  and  many  corres23ondents,  but  I  cannot 
hear  that  she  should  fororet  me.     Remember  me  to  Mr. 

G C 's  family,  and  to  all  who  remember  and 

inquire  after  us. 

"  My  mother  is  still  living,  and  in  the  enjoyment  of 
tolerable  health.  My  brothers  and  sisters  are  all  well. 
I  must  bid  you  farewell,  desiring  an  interest  in  your 
prayers  for  me  and  my  better  half,  who  is  well  and 
desires  a  great  deal  of  love  to  you  and  Harriet.  While 
life  lasts  the  fond  remembrance  of  your  faithful  and 
untiring  friendship  shall  be  my  solace.  Pray  for  us, 
that  our  faith  fail  not,  and  that  we  may  be  ready  to 
render  up  our  account  when  our  divine  Master  calls. 
Ask  for  me  more  holiness  of  heart  and  life :  it  is  what  I 
need  and  what  I  desire.  Should  we  never  write  to  or 
see  each  other  more,  may  wo  meet  at  the  right  hand  of 
our  Saviour  above.  Once  more,  farewell.  May  the 
grace  of  God  ever  fill  your  heart,  is  the  constant  wish  of 
"  Your  affectionate  sister, 

**  L.  B.  Bacox." 

BIOGRAPHY   OF   MRS.    LYDIA   B.    BACON.  227 

To  licr  Mother. 

''Aug.  29,  1845. 

"  Dear  Mother : — I  received  a  few  lines  from  you 
yesterday,  and  was  happy  once  more  to  see  your  beloved 

''  Last  week  we  visited  New  Haven,  Conn.,  the  beau- 
tiful '  city  of  elms.^  I  suppose  it  is  so  named  from  the 
great  number  of  elm  trees  planted  in  all  the  principal 
streets.  The  latter  are  of  spacious  breadth  and  noble 
length,  and  the  lofty  trees  meeting  overhead  afford  a 
delightful  shade  to  the  traveler,  and  give  the  place  an 
air  of  grandeur  and  beauty  not  to  be  described.  You 
will  recollect,  mother,  that  our  first  station  when  Josiali 
entered  the  army  was  at  Fort  Sale,  near  New  Haven. 
I  think  it  was  in  the  year  1809  that  he  was  sent  there 
with  a  detachment  of  men.  The  fort  and  barracks 
were  then  being  built.  But  to  our  great  disajDpointment, 
just  as  our  comfortable  quarters  were  ready  for  us  to 
occupy,  husband  was  ordered  to  rejoin  his  regiment, 
then  stationed  at  Fort  Independence.  Of  course  we 
have  always  felt  a  special  interest  in  the  place,  and  have 
long  wished  to  re-visit  it.     We  have  of  late  been  often 

solicited  to  visit  in  the  family  of  Mr.  W ,  who  is 

the  father  of  our  pastor's  wife.  This  invitation  being 
now  urgently  renewed,  with  a  sj^ecial  request  that  we 
should  come  during  Commencement  week,  we  decided 
to  accept  it.  We  had  an  additional  and  ver}^  strong  in- 
ducement to  go  at  this  time  in  the  fact  that  my 
husband's  nephew,  J.  S.  B.,  was  to  graduate,  now  having 
just  completed  his  studies  at  Yale  College.  So  we 
concluded  we  would  attend  Commencement  exercises, 
which  was  my  first  debut  in  this  line. 


"  Wo  liad  a  very  pleasant  ride  from  Boston  to  New 
Haven  in  tlie  cars,  going  one  hundred  and  sixty-two 
miles  in  ten  hours.  I  was  quite  fatigued,  it  is  true,  but 
slept  well,  and  arose  refreshed  by  slumber  and  anxious 
to  renew  my  acquaintance  with  the  scenes  of  my 
earliest  married  life.  So  we  took  a  carryall,  and  with 
our  dear  pastor,  wife  and  son,  (who  came  to  New  Haven 
with  us,)  we  rode  to  Fort  Hale.  Only  thirty-six  years, 
if  I  remember  rightly,  since  it  was  built  and  occupied 
by  proud  and  gallant  troops.  Now  wo  found  it  in  a 
state  of  ruin,  the  fort  tumbling  to  pieces,  and  the 
barracks  occupied  by  fishermen  and  clam-diggers.  We 
entered  the  fort,  ascended  the  parapet,  took  a  survey  of 
the  beautiful  prospect  from  the  summit,  and  left  hoping 
that  it  would  never  be  found  necessary  to  repair  these 
ruins.  The  house  in  which  we  used  to  board  still  re- 
tained its  former  comfortable  appearance,  although  none 
of  its  former  occupants  reside  in  it.  We  also  saw  the 
old  meeting-house  where  we  used  to  attend  worship  with 
the  soldiers  ;  but  thirty  years  and  more  make  great 
changes  everywhere.  This  ride  occupied  us  most  of 
the  morning. 

"  In  the  afternoon  we  heard  a  fine  address  from  Eev. 
Dr.  Bethune,  of  Philadelphia.  His  subject  was  Study. 
He  answered  some  of  the  objections  which  are  made 
against  it  by  saying  that  students  are  not  so  much 
injured  by  attention  to  their  books  as  by  the  want  of 
attention  to  their  food,  their  exercise  and  personal 
cleanliness.  In  the  latter  particular  he  thought  there 
was  great  deficiency.  He  said  many  of  them  were 
content  with  merely  washing  their  face  and  hands, 
instead  of  that  daily  ablution  of  the  whole  body  which 

BIOGRArilY   OF   MRS.    LYDIA   B.    BACON.  220 

was  indispensable  to  sound  health.  He  asked  them 
*  what  they  shoukl  think  if  their  laundress  only  washed 
the  wruthands  and  collar  of  their  shirts  ?'  This 
address  was  very  interesting,  and  made  the  auditors  not 
only  smile,  but  in  one  instance  roar.  In  the  latter  ease 
the  speaker  was  compelled  to  join  the  laughers,  and  in- 
deed how  could  he  help  it,  when  looking  over  that  va^t 
assembly  with  their  mouths  wi>]e  open. 

"Wednesday  morning  we  visited,  the  Trumbull 
gallery  of  paintings.  These  were,  presented  to  Yale 
College,  with  money  to  build  the  hall  in  which  they  are 
hung.  An  admittance  fee  of  twenty-five  cents  is  taken, 
and  the  income  thus  derived  is  used  to  help  indigent 
young  men  to  complete  their  studies  preparatory  to  the 
sacred  ministry.  The  remains  of  Trumbull  are  en- 
tombed beneath  the  hall,  and  his  monument  is  directly 
under  his  own  and  his  wife's  portrait.  Just  above 
these  is  a  splendid  picture  of  General  Washington  and 
his  beautiful  horse.  It  was  taken  from  life,  and  is  said 
to  be  a  very  exact  likeness.  Trumbull  was  one  of 
Gen.  Washington's  aids,  and  was  considered  one  of  the 
best  artists  of  his  day.  Why  is  it  that  one  feels  so 
differently  in  looking  at  Washington's  picture  than  that 
of  any  other  human  being  ?  Is  it  not  because  in  his 
character  goodness  was  so  eminently  combined  with 
greatness?  TrumbulFs  representations  of  him  are 
better  than  any  others.  The  expression  is  uncommonly 
good  and  life-like.  As  you  gaze  you  think  you  can  see 
the  workings  of  that  powerful  mind,  endowed  by  the 
Almighty  for  the  part  which  he  had  to  perform. 

"  I  was  told  while  in  New  Haven  the  following  anec- 
dote  of  the  artist:     When  he  drew  the  heads  of  tha 

230  BIOGRAPHY   OF   MRS.    LYDIA   B.    BACOX. 

signers  of  the  Declaration  of  Independence  lie  took 
them  from  life.  But  there  was  one  exception.  Colonel 
Harrison,  (the  father  of  General  Harrison,)  had  de- 
ceased, and  Trumbull,  not  choosing  to  put  in  a  head 
which  he  could  not  draw  from  life,  had  omitted  him. 
Some  time  after  a  gentleman  who  was  a  stranger  to 
Trumbull  called  to  see  the  picture.  After  looking  at  it 
attentively,  he  observed  that  it  was  a  great  pity  all  the 
signers  were  not  on  the  canvas,  and  expressed  great 
regret  that  Col.  Harrison  was  left  out.  Trumbull 
inquired  if  he  knew  the  Colonel,  and  the  stranger 
replied  '  he  was  my  fatlierJ  '  Did  he  look  like  you  T 
said  the  artist.  '  No,'  was  the  reply  ;  'but  I  can  tell  you 
how  he  looked.'  Trumbull  immediately  took  his  poncil 
and  drew  from  the  son's  description.  Upon  shewing 
him  the  drawing  it  was  pronounced  an  accurate  likeness, 
and  the  artist  added  it  to  the  group. 

"  At  ten  in  the  morning,  (after  leaving  the  picture- 
gallery,)  we  attended  an  address  before  the  Alumni  of 
the  College.  But  I  came  away  as  wise  as  I  went,  not 
being  able  to  hear  a  word.  The  speaker's  voice  was  too 
low,  and  ere  he  closed  two-thirds  of  the  audience  had 
left,  being  unable  to  hear  him.  It  was  a  great  pity 
that  so  much  good,  (for  I  presume  it  tvas  good,)  should 
be  lost  for  w^ant  of  sufficient  voice  to  make  it  audible. 
In  the  afternoon  we  heard  addresses  from  theological 
students.  At  half-past  five  we  went  to  ride  over  the 
beautiful  city,  and  returning  spent  the  evening  in  social 

converse  at  Mr.  AV 's.     Here  we  met  ]\Ir.  Wallcut, 

formerly  a  missionary  to  Syria,  but  now  a  settled  pastor 
in  a  beautiful  village  at  Long  Meadow,  Mass. 

"  The  next  day  being  Commencement  day,  we  started 

BIOGRAPHY    OF   MRS.    LYDIA    R.    RACOX.  231 

early  that  wo  iniglit  secure  good  seats.     Mrs.  B and 

myself,  having  a  son  and  nephew  ahout  to  graduate 
were  favored  above  many  others  in  having  tickets  to 
the  platform.  Even  here  was  a  choice  of  seats  ;  but 
going  so  early  we  had  good  places  assigned  us.  Mrs.  J. 
B.  did  not  attend  in  the  afternoon,  feeling  rather 
indisposed.  But  I  wished  to  see  the  whole,  and  perse- 
vered, althougli  quite  weary,  and  I  as.^ure  you  I  felt 
well  rewarded.  But  I  must  close  my  descriptions,  for 
my  side  aches  badly  with  the  effort  of  writing  so  long  a 
letter,  and  it  is  late  in  the  evenino-.  So  o'ood-nio'lit, 
dear  mother.  Yours, 

"  Lydia  B.  Bacon.'' 

To  the  same. 

''JSfovemher  5,  1845. 
"  My  dear  Mother: — 1  am  wonderfully  at  leisure  this 
morning,  and  shall  devote  an  hour  or  so  in  telling  you 
about  the  new  Sailor's  Home  in  Boston,  in  which  you 
have  felt  so  much  interest.  The  quilt  which  you  were 
making  for  it  will  be  very  acceptable,  as  they  have  now 
commenced  house-keeping.  Mrs.  More,  with  her  hus- 
band and  sister  A ,  passed   the  afternoon  with  us 

during  their  visit  to  the  city.*  Mrs.  H.  was  prevented 
from  coming  with  them  by  indisposition.  She  is  very 
feeble,  having  every  thing  in  life  desirable  but  health 
AYithout  this  nothing  earthly  can  be  enjoyed,  as  we  all 
know  more  or  less  by  experience.  I  do  love  Mr.  and 
Mrs.  More,  and  their  visit  was  very  pleasant  to  me.  On 
Wednesday  the  new  Home  was  thrown  open  for  the  re- 
ception of  company,  visitors  paying  twenly-five  cents  for 
admittance.     This  fee  was  asked  to  raise  a  sum  for  the 

232  BIOGRAPHY   OF   MRS.    LYDIA   B.    BACOX. 

completion  of  tlio  building,  which  is  delayed  for  want  of 
funds.  All  the  furniture  has  been  received  as  a  dona- 
tion from  different  societies  and  individuals.  The 
materials  arc  of  good  quality,  but  made  plain  to 
correspond  with  the  building.  The  latter  is  large  and 
commodious,  but  not  one  cent  is  spent  for  unnecessary 
ornament.  This  is  as  it  should  be.  I  wish  it  were  so  in 
all  our  houses  of  every  description,  at  least  so  long  as 
there  is  such  a  crying  tuaiit  of  money  for  purposes  of 
usefulness  and  charity.  The  Home  is  really  worth 
seeing.  It  is  five  stories  high  ;  the  first  story,  which  is 
partly  under  ground,  contains  the  washing,  ironing, 
bathing-rooms  and  collars.  In  the  second  are  the 
kitchens,  pantries  and  dining-rooms,  all  of  which  are 
very  large  and  convenient.  The  third  story  has  a 
spacious  reading-room,  two  large  parlors  with  folding 
doors,  a  smoking-room,  leading  to  a  piazza,  and  an  oflice 
and  parlor,  with  other  apartments  for  the  family  having 
charge  of  the  Institution.  The  fourth  and  fifth  stories 
are  divided  into  chambers,  with  two  single  beds  in  most 
of  them.  These  are  furnished  each  with  a  table,  two 
chairs,  a  mirror  and  a  lamp.  On  each  table  is  a  Bible, 
and  on  some  of  them  other  good  books.  There  are  also 
pin-cushions,  needle  cases,  thread  and  buttons,  that  the 
poor  sailor  may  mend  his  clothes.  None  of  these 
articles  are  to  be  taken  from  the  rooms,  but  are  free  to 
the  use  of  each  succeeding  occupant.  It  was  quite 
amusing  to  observe  the  variet}'  of  bed-quilts  which  have 
been  furnished.  Hardly  any  two  are  alike.  I  saw  one 
with  white  squares  written  over  with  texts  of  Scripture, 
pretty  verses  and  kind  wishes  for  poor  Jack.  I  thonglit 
while  looking  at  them  how  many  pleasant  hours  different 

BIOGRArilY   OF   MRP.    LYDIA   B.    BACON.  233 

circles  of  ladios  liail  passed  too;etlier  while  making 
articles  for  the  comfort  of  the  liardy  sailor.  Oli,  it  was 
cnorigli  to  do  one's  heart  good  to  see  these  tokens  of 
regarJ  for  a  class  of  men  wlio  are  so  serviceable  to  the 
■worhl,  and  of  wliom  the  world  thinks  so  little.  I  re- 
gretted that  we  had  not  done  something  in  Chelsea 
towards  famishing  the  house  beside  our  contribution  for 
the  building,  wliieh  amounted  to  sixty  dollars. 

"  Tables  were  set  in  the  Home  covered  with  useful 
and  fancy  articles  for  sale.  Thi'se  articles  were  given 
by  benevolent  persons,  and  tlie  tables  gratuitously 
tended.  The  avails  were  to  be  added  to  the  funds  for 
the  completion  of  the  building.  I  believe  that  about 
five  hundred  dollars  was  realized  for  this  purpose.  As 
I  passed  througli  the  chambers  and  saw  the  nice  soft 
beds,  I  thought  how  many  poor  sons  of  the  ocean,  as 
they  lay  their  weary  heads  upon  the  pillows  provided  for 
their  comfort  by  the  fair  daughters  of  New  England, 
will  bless  them  for  their  labor  of  love.  How  much 
better  that  our  young  ladies  should  be  tlius  employed 
than  to  spend  their  time  in  adorning  their  own  persons 
and  ministering  to  vanity  and  folly.  This  establishment 
is  a  noble  one,  and  worthy  of  our  good  city. 

"The  weather  has  been  very  pleasant  of  late.  Yes- 
terday, however,  there  was  a  storm  ;  but  it  has  now 
cleared  away,  and  is  threatening  to  freeze  hard.  Our 
plants  in  tlie  house  look  finely,  and  we  are  mostly 
prepared  for  winter.  How  is  your  health,  dear  motlier? 
and  how  is  sister  A.?  Djes  the  coming  winter  look 
long  in   pro^px^t?     I  hope  it  may  prove  a  comfortable 

one  to  you.     E sails  to-day.     She  will  have,  (as  the 

sailors  say,)   a  spanking  breeze  and  pleasant  weather. 

234  BIOGKAniY   OF   MRS.    LYDIA   B.    BACON". 

May  fi  Vnv}  Providence  protect  lier  and  give  tlie  winds 
and  tlie  waves  charge  concerning  lier.  Mj  love  to  all, 
ill  wliicli  Josiali  heartily  joins. 

"  Your  affectionate  child, 

"  L.  B.  Bacon." 

To  the  same. 

''  Be.cemher  olsf,  1845. 

"You  will  perceive,  my  dear  mother,  by  the  date, 
that  this  is  the  last  day  of  the  year,  a  period  of  time 
which  naturally  suggests  most  serious  reflections. 

"Mr.  Langworthy  has  improved  the  occasion  by  a 
very  solemn  discourse.  His  text  was  '  Where  art  thou?^ 
and  the  subject  was  applied  to  the  different  classes  of 
'his  hearers,  who  listened  with  earnest  and  profound  at- 
tention. It  well  becomes  us  to  ask  ourselves,  wJiere 
are  tve,  icliat  a7'e  ive  doing,  and  tvJdtJier  are  tve  going  f 
If  Christians,  are  we  in  the  path  of  duty?  and  are  we 
contented  that  our  heavenl}^  Father  should  mete  out 
our  charges  for  us  without  giving  us  the  whg  or  the 

"  Another  year  is  added  to  the  many  we  have  seen,  all 
filled  with  mercies,  all  rich  with  tokens  of  the  divine 
goodness.  But  what  returns  have  we  made  fur  all  his 
manifestations  of  kindness  and  grace  toward  us.  I  can 
see  nothing  in  my  own  case  at  all  answerable  to  the 
mercies  received  ;  and  reviewing  my  life  I  am  con- 
Btrained  to  call  myself  an  unprofitable  servant,  an  un- 
grateful sinner.  At  present  I  am  constantly  reminded 
of  the  uncertainty  of  life.  My  infirmities  are  increas- 
ing, and  I  am  increasingly  liable  to  sudden  death.  Yet 
fihould  the  brittle  thread  of  my  life  be  snapped  sudden- 

BIOGKAPIIY   OF   MRS.    LYDIA   B.    BACON.  ^6b 

Ij  to  otliors,  it  will  not  and  oiinlit  net  to  bo  so  to  mo. 
Idle  ddily,  innsmiuli  as  sure  disease  is  making  constant 
progress.  Yet  I  cannot  always  bring  death  near  to  my- 
self. Allliongli  so  conversant  with  it,  and  so  often  an 
attendant  upon  tlie  dying,  yet  I  cannot  always  realize  as  I 
wish  the  sohmn  trnth,  '  tliis  year  thou  mayest  die/  and 
*  in  sucli  an  hour  as  ye  think  not,  the  Son  of  man  cometh.' 
Oh,  liow  slow  are  our  unUdii^'ing  hearts  to  credit  either 
the  promises  or  the  tlireatenings  of  tlie  Almighty. 
Pray  for  me,  dear  mothi^r,  that  I  may  bi'  p:-ej)ared  for 
whatever  awaits  me  anti  mine.  Oar  dear  pn^itor  is  very 
much  engaged  in  religious  things,  and  there  seems  to 
be  more  altention  in  our  church  and  congregation  than 
there  has  been  of  late. 

"  Jamiary  l,*f,  1  84G.  A  happy  new  year  to  my  dear 
motlu  r  and  sisters  and  all  my  good  fVicnds  in  Sandwich. 
It.  is  cliaimijig  weather  today  for  those  who  visit  their 
friends  wl'di  the  compliments  of  the  season.  Wo  re 
ceived  tlie  bed-quilts  and  articles  which  you  sent  in  good 
order.  Wo  liiive  sent  the  largest  quilt  to  '  the  Sailor's 
Home.'  and  the  small  one  with  the  other  things  to  '  the 
Widi.w  and  Fatherless  Society.'  In  both  instances  they 
wei'e  very  grat;  fully  receivinl. 

"  Since  I  wrote  last  we  have  had  some  affjcting  cases 
of  sickness  and  death  at  the  Hospital.  TuO  were 
sufferei-s  frcm  the  effects  of  rum.  One  of  these  had 
'  delii-iuni-trenuMis,'  and  died  in  twenty  four  hours  after 
he  was  brouglit  in,  in  awful  horror  of  mind.  Tlie  other 
lingered  a  few  days  and  tl;en  went  to  hlsac;ount.  The 
last  was  a  well  educated  man  about  fifty  yeai-s  of  age, 
good-looking,    and    of   })l(asing    address.     01),  it   was 

236  EIOGRAPIIY   OF   MRS.    LYDIA    B.    BACOX. 

licart-sickciiiiio'  to  see  oiu^  so  endowed  by  heaven  debased 
in  liis  own  eyes  and  in  that  of  liis  fellow  men.  He  ex- 
pressed thanks  tliat  he  was  permitted  to  die  among 
Christian  people  ;  bnt  liis  mind  was  so  weak  and  wander- 
ing that  he  could  converse  but  little.  He  was  very 
grateful  for  any  attention,  and  smiled  whenever  I  went 
to  see  him.  AVe  hoped  he  would  rally  sufficiently  to 
have  his  mind  directed  to  '  the  Lamb  of  God,'  but  the 
mandate  had  gone  foi'tli,  'ciit  him  down/  and  he  died 
as  he  lived,  withont  God  and  without  hope.  Poor 
fellow  !  '  bitter  that  he  had  never  been  born.'  His 
mother  was  spared  the  ag  ny  of  seeing  a  once  darling 
child  so  lost  and  degraded.  The  third  death  wa^  that 
of  a  colored  seaman  ;  his  disea.-e  Wiis  consumption.  I 
hope  that  he  realized  his  situation,  and  was  in  some 
measure  prepared  to  meet  it.  He  was  veiy  patient  and 
appeared  submissive  to  his  fate.  He  was  very  fond  of 
hearing  me  read  the  Bible,  and  used  to  say  '  he  could 
bear  it  all  night,  he  loved  it  so  well.'  He  breathed  his 
last  as  ea.-y  and  peaceful  as  a  little  child  going  to  sleep. 
He  had  a  wife,  who  with  other  colored  friends  attended 
his  funeral,  at  which  Mr.  Beanmn,  a  colored  clergyman, 
officiated.  Thus  three  times  in  one  week  were  we  called 
to  bury  the  dead. 

"Dear  Abby,  we  have  now  in  the  H')spital  as  a 
jiatient,  an  old  acquaintance  of  yours.  He  recollects 
you  peifi'ctly,  and  was  acquainted  with  all  our  friends 
at  Sa.kctt's  Harbor.  AVe  often  meet  iho.-,e  who  have 
known  om-  friends,  but  here  was  one  who  had  once 
actually  been  in  husband's  employ.  He  is  a  clever 
man.  Wo  have  three  sailors  in  the  house  over  sixty 
years  of  age,  and  neiiher  of  them  fit  to  go  to  tea  again. 

BIOr.RArilY   OF   MRS.    LYDTA   B.    T5A00N.  237 

When  I  sec  sncli  poor,  worn-out  sailors,  I  feel  a^  if  I 
wanted  to  see  them  in  a  good  home.  How  mueli  we 
need  a  snvr/  harbor  for  such  shattered  hulks.  One  of 
these  old  sailors  was  a  twin  chill.  His  sister,  (his  other 
half,  as  he  called  her,)  died  at  eleven  years,  and  they 
were  two  of  eighteen  children  horn  of  the  same  mother. 
The  rest  all  lived  to  grow  up  and  settle  in  life.  The 
sons,  ton  in  numher,  were  all  farmers  but  this  one. 
He  wished  '  to  see  the  tvorld,'  and  he  has  seen  it  to  his  sor- 
roiv.  He  is  a  sensible  man,  and  appears  well  disposed. 
Yesterday  he  went  to  the  city  to  see  his  cousin  ;  when 
he  returned  he  brought  me  some  figs  from  her.  He 
said  he  told  her  that  1  went  into  the  wards  to  see  the 
poor  sailor ;  and  she  said,  '  she  must  send  that  dear  old 
lady  a  present.'  The  figs  are  very  nice,  and  I  send  a 
part  of  them  to  you. 

"Anna  is  well,  and  enjoys  herself;  she  is  going  to 
Mrs.  Manning's  this  afternoon,  and  tomorrow  will  pass 

the  day  with  J ,  and  bring  L home  with  her. 

She  attends  two  evening  meetings  in  the  vreek,  and  one 
Lyceum.  Adieu,  dear  mother  and  sister.  With  love  to 
all,  I  remain 

"  Yours  most  affectionately, 

"  Lydia." 

The  preceding  letter  is  the  latest  one  in  the  writer's 
possession,  addressed  to  the  dear  mother  v.hom  this 
daughter  so  loved  and  venerated.  Between  the  date  of 
this  and  the  one  wliich  follows,  is  a  gap  of  sixteen 
months.  During  this  period  Mrs.  Bacon  visited  her  be- 
loved parent,  and  witnessing  her  increased  infirmities 
felt  that  possibly  this  was  her  last  visit.     Her  account 

238  BIOGEAPIIY   OF   MRS.    LYDIA   B.    BACO^^. 

of  ifc  is  on  veil  in  a  letter  to  her  friend  Mrs.  B.,  -wliicli  is 
dated  Feb.   11th,  1848,  to  which  the  reader  is  referred. 

Well  does  the  writer  remember  the  happy  pride  with 
which  Mrs.  B.  exhibited  to  her  some  bed-quilts  and  other 
useful  articles  wliich  her  mother  had  assisted  in  making 
for  the  Sailor's  Home  and  the  Society  for  the  Widow 
and  Fatherless.  ''  Are  not  these  stitches  beautiful,^' 
said  she,  "for  an  old  lady  of  eighty-six  years?'' 

Her  expressions  of  attachment  to  and  fondness  for 
her  only  surviving  parent  were  frequent  and  endearing, 
though  always  natural  and  unaffected.  After  Mrs.  B's 
return  from  the  last  visit  to  her  mother,  I  called  to 
greet  her,  and  found  her  standing  by  her  mother's 
portrait  with  a  look  of  touching  sadness.  After  my 
salutation  w^as  returned  her  eyes  again  sought  the 
picture,  and  w^ith  a  pathos  not  to  be  described  she  said, 
"I  shall  not  sec  that  blessed  mother  again  in  life.  I 
shall  meet  her  no  more  till  we  cast  our  crowns  together 
at  a  Saviour's  feet."  Then  adding,  "  but  oh,  shall  one 
so  uiuoo7^tliy  as  I  be  permitted  to  join  the  blessed 
above?"  She  burst  into  a  flood  of  tears.  Having 
always  regarded  ]\Irs.  Bacon  as  a  most  exemplary 
Christian,  I  was  struck  with  her  emotion,  and  could  not 
refrain  from  saying  to  her,  "  Surely  you  do  not  doubt 
your  acceptance."  Smiling  through  her  tears  she 
replied  with  her  usual  sweetness,  "  Yes,  dear,  when  I 
look  only  at  myself  1  am  full  of  doubts,  hut  ivlien  I  look 
to  Clirht  all  is  peace."  She  then  added  that  to  her 
**  one  of  h'aven's  greatest  attractions  was  that  there 
she  should  be  freed  from  sin,  and  thus  have  no  drawback 
to  her  w^orship  or  her  enjoyment."  I  remember  being 
forcibly  struck  wdth  her  declaration  that  "  it  would  bo 

BIOGRAPHY   OF   MR=5.    LYDTA    V,.    BACOX.  200 

710  lienvcn  to  lier  if  .she  iniist  carry  licr  sins  Avitli  licr." 
Perfect  and  universal  purity  was  indispensable  to  lier 
idea  of  perfect  happini^ss. 

The  lirst  call  wliich  I  made  upon  her  aft;-r  the 
decease  of  her  beloved  parent  she  took  me  by  the  hand 
and  said,  *'  I  have  lost  the  best  mother  that  ever  a 
daughter  had ;  but  heaven  has  gained  a  saint,  and 
Jesus  a  new  jewel  for  his  crown/^ 

Her  mother's  death  took  place,  and  is  alluded  to 
briefly  in  the  following  letter  to  her  friend,  which  was 
written  during  tlie  succeeding  spring. 

To  Mrs.  B ,  of  Sackctt's  Harbor. 

"  Chelsea,  April  IStJi,  1847. 

"My  ever  dear  sister: — Your  precious  letter  was 
very,  very  welcome,  and  I  embrace  the  first  opportunity 
to  tell  you  so,  and  to  assure  you  of  our  unabated  affec- 
tion for  yourself  and  your  darling  cliild.  Such  a  train 
of  thought  rushes  into  my  mind  when  I  hear  from  you, 
such  a  vivid  recollection  of  the  many  pleasant  hours  we 
have  passed  together,  of  the  many  kindnesses  received 
from  you,  that  my  heart  is  filled  to  overflowing.  I 
almost  wish  for  a  fairy's  wing  to  waft  me  to  you,  that  I 
mio'ht  tell  all  I  think  and  feel  to  the  loved  sister  who 
has  so  often  sympathized  in  my  joys  and  sorrows. 

"  We  have  recently  received  a  letter  from  Mrs.  Boyd, 
after  a  protracted  silence,  reviving  our  remembrances  of 
the  many  interesting  circumstances  connected  with  our 
intimacy.  Those  memories  can  never  be  efl'aced.  But 
oh,  how  many  changes  have  taken  place  since  those 
days,  both  with  her  and  with  me.  How  full  of  passing 
events  is  the  present  moment.     Our  country  is  again 


involved  in  war,  bringing  in  its  train  all  the  multiplied 
evils  which  it  involves," and  death  is  selecting  its  shining 
marks  to  make  us  feel  its  horrors  more  deeply.  You 
see  by  the  papers  that  some  of  the  officers  with  whom 
we  were  acquainted  are  among  the  most  conspicuous  in 
the  discharge  of  duty.  Let  our  fervent  prayers  ascend 
that  the  nations  may  learn  war  no  more,  and  the  Prince 
of  Peace  rnli'  in  every  lieart.  You  can  imagine  that  we 
feel  more  than  ordinary  interest  in  this  war,  so  many  of 
our  former  associates  being  engaged  in  it,  and  its  inci- 
dents recalling  so  many  events  connected  with  our  own 
experience.  Bat  I  dare  not  trust  my  pen  on  this 

"  AVe  were  delighted  to  hear  that  you  and  your  sweet 
Harriet  were  well.  You  have  a  blessing  indeed  in  such 
a  child.  I  rejoice  with  you  sincerely,  and  hope  that  she 
may  be  spared  to  cheer  the  remainder  of  your  pilgrim- 
age. What  a  kind  Providence  it  was  that  permitted  us 
all  to  meet  once  more  under  such  propitious  circum- 
stances. We  have  visited  Mount  Auburn  since  your 
return.  I  cannot  tell  you  how  much  we  thouglit  of  you 
and  your  dear  ones.  It  is  a  most  solemn  place  to  me, 
notwithstanding  it  is  so  beautiful,  and  so  embellished 
by  nature  and  art. 

*'  You  have  heard  tliat  I  have  been  called  to  part 
with  her  who  gave  me  birth.  Now  I  know  indeed  what 
it  is  to  be  motlierless.  How  incxprcssihlif  lonely  is  the 
feeling  !  My  dear  mother  had  lived  beyond  tlie  common 
age  of  man,  being  eighty-six  years  old.  For  the  last 
few  years  she  has  struggled  through  infirmities,  which, 
though  not  of  a  violent  nature,  w^ere  undermining  her 
constitution,  and  made  her  an  easy  victim.     Her  death 

BIOGRAPHY   OF   MRS.    LYDIA   B.    BACON.  241 

was  quiet  and  peaceful,  surrounded  by  lier  cliildren,  all 
vieing'  with  each  other  in  kind  attentions.  I  have  her 
picture,  taken  about  two  years  previous  to  her  decease  ; 
it  is  an  excellent  likeness.  When  I  look  at  it,  and 
think  that  slie  is  gone,  I  cannot  describe  my  feelings  of 
sadness.  But  I  reflect  upon  her  happiness  in  the 
presence  of  her  Saviour,  all  her  doubts  and  fears  re- 
moved, freed  from  infirmities  and  from  sin,  and  my 
fervent  ejaculation  is,  '  the  will  of  the  Lord  be  done  !' 
"  I  often  hear  from  Mrs.  Judd,  through  my  sister 

A ,  whose  son  has  returned  to  the  Sandwich  Islands 

with  his  family.  He  edits  the  State  paper  called  the 
Polynesian.     Dr.  Judd  is  Secretary  of  State,  and  his 

wife,  (our  own  little  L ,)  is  a  lady  of  the  first  rank 

at  the  Hawaian  Court.  She  is  thouglit  to  be  the  most 
elegant  woman  there.  My  nephew's  intimacy  with  Dr. 
and  Mrs.  J has  been  continued  with  increased  affec- 
tion and  confidence.  He  describes  their  family  as  very 
lovely,  and  exceedingly  well-educated  in  every  sense  of 

the  word.     Little  did  I  think  when  L and  myself 

resided  under  the  same  roof  at  Sackett's,  that  in  future 
years  the  welfare  and  happiness  of  one  of  my  own  dear 
kinsmen  would  be  so  pleasantly  connected  with  her.     Is 

it  not  a  wonderful  Providence  ?     J is  in  mercantile 

business,  with  a  partner,  in  addition  to  his  literary  em- 
ployment. He  has  adopted  the  country  as  his  own, 
looking  upon  it  as  his  future  home,  and  desirous  to  use 
all  his  efforts  for  its  welfare  and  prosperity.  So  my 
desire  that  some  of  our  numerous  offspring  should  be 
useful  to  the  heathen  has  been  gratified  in  part.  To 
have  one  of  them  a  Christian  missionary  is  more  than 


God  sees  fit  to  grant,  more,  (I  acknowledge,)  than 
I  deserve. 

"  I  am  glad  that  your  sweet  boy,  (the  son  of  our  dear 
Francis,)  is  situated  so  much  to  your  mind.  I  hope  he 
may  prove  every  thing  that  you  could  wish.  You  have, 
I  am  sure,  trained  him  in  the  way  he  should  go,  and 
may  trust  the  promise  that  he  will  not  depart  from  it- 
Where  is  the  little  sister  ?  I  should  love  to  see  them 
both,  and  hope  that  I  may  at  some  future  time. 
Eemember  us  with  much  affection  to  Harriet,  and  also 
to  all  those  who  feel  an  interest  in  us,  especially  to  our 

good  friends  the  C families,  Mr.  G s,  and  the 

S s.     Anna  is  with  us,  and  begs  to  join  us  in  these 

kind  remembrances.  She  has  the  promise  of  accompany- 
ing us  to  the  Harbor  when  the  railroad  to  it  is  com- 
pleted, should  such  an  event  happen  ere  our  pilgrimage 
is  ended. 

"  We  are  still,  as  you  see,  at  the  Hospital,  a  kind 
Providence  having  permitted  us  thus  far  to  retain  a  post 
where  opportunity  is  afforded  for  the  improvement  of 
our  talents,  be  they  one  or  many.  Oh,  may  it  be  found 
at  the  last  that  we  have  not  buried  them  in  the  earth  or 
hid  them  in  a  napkin.  We  have  about  sixty  patients 
now  from  all  nations  ;  poor  fellows,  my  heart  aches  for 

"  The  spring  with  us  is  very  backward,  though  the 
birds  carol  forth  their  sweet  notes.    But  I  must  say  adieu. 

"  Yours  faithfully, 

"  Lydia  Bacon." 

BIOGRAPHY   OF   MRS.    LYDIA   B.    BACON.  243 

The  following  letter,  written  by  Mrs.  Bacon  to  her 
sister  T.  at  Sandwich,  shews  her  deep  interest  and 
tender  sympathy  in  all  that  befell  her  friends,  whether 
prosperous  or  adverse.  The  wedding  of  her  sister  J^s 
daughter  in  Boston,  the  death  of  two  of  her  most  valued 
Chelsea  friends,  are  mentioned  with  the  emotion  which 
each  event  was  calculated  to  produce.  With  the  latter 
incidents  the  writer  of  these  pages  w^as  perfectly 
familiar,  and  can  testify  to  the  truthfulness  of  hbr 
friend's  description.  She  thinks  it  not  improper  to  add 
here  that  the  three  motherless  daughters  of  Mrs.  De 

B ,   referred   to  in  the  following  letter,  are  now 

blessed  with  a  pious  step-mother,  who  is  diligently  and 
successfully  training  them  in  the  paths  of  peace  and 
virtue,  and  making  their  home  as  happy  as  their 
lamented  mother  could  have  desired. 

To  Mrs.  S . 

*'  October,  1847. 

"  My  dear  sister : — For  many  days  I  have  been  trying 
to  find  a  few  leisure  moments  to  write  you,  but  have 
been  more  than  usually  occupied.  Scenes  both  joyous 
and  painful  have  filled  up  all  the  passing  moments. 
But  at  length  I  find  myself  alone,  w^ith  the  prospect  of 
being  able  to  devote  a  few  moments  to  you,  and  will 
detail  some  of  the  most  important  events  which  have 
transpired  since  I  w^rote  you  last.  And  first,  the  ivedding. 
I  wish  you  had  all  been  here  to  witness  it.  It  was  truly 
a  pleasant  sight.  The  youthful  pair  in  all  the  freshness 
and  joyousness  of  first  love,  went  through  the  ceremony 
with  great  propriety  and  becoming  dignity.  I  never 
saw  the  Episcopal  form  of  marriage  before,  except  once 

244  BIOGRAPHY   OF   MRS.    LYDIA   B.    BACO:^. 

where  a  part  of  the  service  was  omitted.     Dr.  V 

officiated.      The  bride  and  groom  looked  charmingly, 
being  dressed  with  becoming  simplicity  and  elegance. 

''  And  now  I  have  a  very  different  scene  to  present. 
For  the  last  fortnio^ht  our  church  has  been  in  a  state  of 
great  anxiety  on  account  of  the  severe  sickness  of  two 
of  our  beloved  sisters  :  and  we  have  followed  them  both 

to 'the  grave.     Mrs.  De  B ,  (in  whom  you  became 

interested  last  winter,)  after  months  of  intense  suffering 
has  gone  to  her  home  above.  She  had  a  lovely  family, 
and  every  thing  to  make  life  desirable,  but  bowed  her 
head  submissively  to  her  Father's  will,  commending  to 
His  care  her  throe  little  daughters,  so  soon  to  be 
motherless.  Her  last  thoughts  wei*e  of  the  Saviour,  and 
her  last  audible  words, '  thechiefest  among  ten  thousand, 
and  altogether  lovely ;  yes,  altogether  lovely.' 

'^  The  other  death  was  that  of  Mrs.  Norton,  mother 
to  the  young  man  whom  you  heard  speak  in  our  sailors' 
meeting.  She  was  a  very  active  member  of  our  female 
prayer-meeting,  where  she  Avill  be  greatly  missed.  She 
was  sick  three  weeks  or  more  with  the  dysentery. 
She  suffered  much  in  body,  but  her  mind  was  calm  and 
joyful,  and  her  faith  triumphant.  The  Saviour,  the 
Almighty  Saviour,  was  her  theme.  She  dwelt  much 
upon  his  divinity.  '  Were  Jesus  oiili/  a  man,''  she  would 
say,  '  how  could  I  trust  my  soul  to  him  in  such  an  hour 
as  this?  But  he  is  God — I  know  it,  I  feel  it ;  my  feet 
are  on  the  roclc  of  ages ;  the  everlasting  arm  is  under- 
neath me,  and  none  shall  be  able  to  pluck  me  out  of  his 
hand.'  She  retained  her  reason  to  the  last.  As  her 
family  and   friends    stood  around   her  dying  bed  she 


sloTvIy  raised  her  wasted  finger,  and  pointing  upward 
said,  with  a  heavenly  smile,  *  Home,'  and  breathed  her 
last.  Very  sweet  has  been  my  intercourse  with  both 
these  deceased  sisters  ;  it  will  be  long  before  their  places 
will  be  filled.  These  are  not  unmeaning  providences ; 
may  we  receive  the  admonition  God  intends.  Adieu, 
dear  sister.  Yours  ever, 

*'Lydia  B.  Bacon." 

To  Mrs.  S ,  whose  son  was  in  a  hopeless  decline, 

she  wrote  as  follows  : 

''November  15th,  1847. 
"  My  dear  sister: — I  have  endeavored  for  many  days 
past  to  find  time  to  write  you  a  few  lines,  and  have  not 
succeeded  until  this  morning.  Every  moment  of  my 
time  seems  to  be  full  of  occupation,  and  yet  I  often  ask 
myself,  '  what  have  I  accomplished  ?'  True,  I  do  my 
own  sewing,  besides  attending  to  the  numerous  wants  of 
my  family,  which  numbers  one  hundred.  Yet  I  write 
but  little  compared  with  what  I  used  to  do,  as  the 
exertion  always  hurts  my  side.  I  acknowledge  I  am 
becoming  a  very  poor  correspondent,  both  as  to  the 
quality  and  frequency  of  my  letters.  But  as  I  really 
have  a  strong  desire  to  write,  which  my  health  and  my 
cares  only  prevent,  you  must  *  take  the  will  for  the 
deed.'  Do  not  think  that  I  love  my  sisters  less  because 
my  letters  are  '  few  and  far  between.'  Neither  must 
you  imagine  that  the  constant  demand  upon  my  sympa- 
thies in  behalf  of  the  sick  and  sad  in  my  home  sphere 
makes  me  less  sensitive  to  7/our  sorrows.  I  know  the 
desolate  feeling  that  must  fill  your  tender  heart  as  you 


look  upon  the  wasting  form  of  your  beloved  son.  My 
dear  sister,  I  do  pity  you  and  pray  for  you.  I  cannot 
but  hope  that  God  in  his  infinite  mercy  will  spare  your 

dear  T ,  and  raise  him  up  from  this  sickness  to  be 

an  ornament  to  his  profession  and  a  blessing  to  the 
world.  But  if  in  his  unerring  wisdom  he  shall  order 
otherwise,  may  he  give  you  and  his  friends  resignation 
to    the   divine   will.     Especially  do   I  pray  that  dear 

T may  bow  submissively  to  the  disappointment  of 

his  plans  and  hopes.  May  he  trust  wholly  in  that 
divine  Eedeemer  who  alone  can  clease  our  souls  from 
guilt ;  may  he  seek  earnestly  that  forgiveness  and 
acceptance  which  will  fit  him  to  live  or  enable  him  to 
die  in  peace.  This  sudden  sickness  is  a  sad  blow  to  all 
his  friends,  who  have  become  exceedingly  interested  in 
him.  May  we  be  enabled  to  say,  '  the  will  of  the  Lord 
be  done.'  We  know  that  our  heavenly  Father  cares  for 
us  ;  that  he  watches  over  this  earth  so  closely  that  not  a 
sparrow  falls  to  the  ground  without  his  notice.  Let  us 
then  feel,  my  sister,  that  whatever  he  wills  respecting  us 
as  individuals  is  rifvht.  Let  us  cultivate  the  habit  of 
trusting  him  implicitly,  and  he  will  give  us  grace  and 
strength  to  help  in  each  time  of  need.  Time  is  fast 
receding  from  us  all.  A  few  more  days  and  we  shall  all 
put  oflPthis  earthly  tabernacle  and  fill  the  places  assign- 
ed us  in  the  world  to  come.  Our  family  has  hitherto  been 
remarkably  exempted  from  the  strokes  of  death  ;  but  it 
cannot  always  be  so.  I  feel  for  myself  that  my  tim^'. 
will  probably  be  very  short,  as  I  have  admonitory 
symptoms  which  cannot  be  mistaken.  May  it  be  my 
chief  concern  '  to  make  my  calling  and  election  sure/ 
"  I  hope  to  send  this  by  Josiah,  and  also  some  grapes 

EIOGRAniY   OF   MRS.    LYDIA   B.    BACON.  247 

and  jollies  for  the  clear  invalid.  Give  liim  my  love,  and 
toll  liini  that  1  think  of  him  and  pray  for  him.  Anna 
is  writing  a  letter  to  go  with  this.  Remember  us  to  all 
friends,  and  believe  me, 

"  Your  affectionate  sister, 

"  Lydia." 

To  the  same. 

''December  IQili,  1S47. 

"  I  received  yours,  dear  sister,  without  date,  and 
hasten  to  answer  it.  I  have  just  returned  from  my 
daily  visit  to  the  wards,  where  I  have  been  endeavoring 
to  sympathize  with  a  young  sailor  who  is  in  a  consump- 
tion. The  doctor  says  his  time  hero  is  very  short,  but 
the  poor  fellow  docs  not  realize  it  as  he  should.  He 
would  like  to  die,  tliat  ho  may  be  released  from  suffer- 
ing :  as  he  believes  that  he  is  punished  here  as  much  as 
he  deserves,  and  that  he  ought  to  be  rewarded  hereafter. 
Oh,  how  dreadful  to  see  people  so  deceived!  I  gave 
him  some  comforts  for  the  body,  and  left  him  a  tract, 
which  he  promised  to  read. 

"  Prom  him  I  turn  to  sympathize  with  you,  my  sister, 
and  to  tell  you  how  truly  I  feel  for  you.  Altliough  I 
have  no  children  of  my  own,  still  I  think  I  can  feel  for 
those  who  see  their  dear  offspring  slowly  wasting  before 
their  eyes  and  soon  to  be  on  earth  no  more.  I  pray 
that  our  heavenly  Father  will  strengthen  you  to  bear 
this  heavy  trial,  and  to  meet  the  still  heavier  stroke 
which  now  seems  to  be  so  near.  It  is  a  great  comfort, 
dear  sister,  tliat  you  can  liavc  him  with  you  and  be  able 
to  make  him  so  comfortable.  Thus  the  Lord  mingles 
mercies    in  each  bitter  cup.     He    '  doth  not  willingly 


afflict  or  grieve  the  cliildren  of  men/  but  chastens  us 
*  for    our   profit,    that   we   may   be   partakers   of    his 

holiness.     I  hope  our  dear  T will  cast  himself  into 

the  arms  of  a  redeeming  Saviour  with  humility, 
penitence  and  faith.  However  upright  and  moral  a 
man  may  be,  he  can  never  be  saved  except  through  the 
atoning  sacrifice  of  the  Lamb  of  God.  '  His  blood 
cleanseth  from  all  sin/ 

"  We  miss  Anna  very  much,  and  should  like  to  have 
her  return  whenever  you  can  spare  her.  Do  not  confine 
her  to  the  house  too  much  ;  she  has  a  great  deal  of  air 
and  exercise  here,  and  close  confinement  will  be  very 

injurious  to  her  health.     K has  not  been  here  yet 

to  stay.     Aunt  J wishes  her  to  pass  a  week  there 

before  she  herself  leaves  for  New  York.  She  is  going 
thither  to  stay  a  few  weeks  under  the  care  of  a  cele- 
brated physician,  the  same  who  has  helped  A M 

so  much.     I  have  not  seen  the  P s  since  Anna  left, 

the  weather  and  the  walkins;  havino;  been  the  most  of 
the  time  very  unpleasant.  I  attend  the  Lowell  lectures 
it  is  true,  but  I  ride  to  the  door  and  return  directly,  and 
cannot  stop  for  calls.  Dr.  Potter's  lectures  are  the  best 
I  ever  heard  at  the  Institute  ;  his  subject  is  *  the  soul 
and  mind  of  man,' — the  highest  subject,  next  to  Deity, 
upon  which  human  lips  can  speak.  The  Doctor  has  a 
crowded  house,  and  is  listened  to  with  the  most  interested 
attention.  His  speaking  is  easy,  distinct  and  graceful. 
The  lectures  before  the  Mercantile  Library  Association 
are  also  well  attended,  and  the  lectures  as  reported  are 
certaiuly  very  interesting. 

"  And  last,  hut  hy  no  means  least,  our  own  Tuesday 

BIOGRAPHY  OF   MRS.    LYDIA   B.    BACOX.  249 

evening  lectures,  from  Mr.  Langwortliy,  are  most 
excellent.  His  subject  is,  '  The  duties  and  responsibili- 
ties of  the  Christian.'  I  think  I  never  knew  them  so 
forcibly  presented  or  so  impressively  urged  before.  I 
want  every  body  should  hear  them.  "We  have  also  very 
interesting  temperance  meetings.  Your  Uncle  Bacon, 
Annie,  is  much  engaged  in  promoting  this  good  cause. 

Next  Monday  evening  Mr.  0 d's   scholars  arc  to 

give  a  concert  of  music  ;  I  expect  to  enjoy  it  very  much 
if  I  should  be  permitted  to  be  present. 

"  Capt.  A is  to  leave  the  first  of  January.     Ho 

has  just  received  from  a  deceased  friend  the  sum  of 
^5000.  This  is  very  opportune,  as  he  was  wrecked 
previous  to  coming  here,  and  not  being  insured  lost  his 
all.  I  am  really  glad  for  his  good  fortune  in  receiving 
a  bequest  which  will  place  him  above  want.  He  now 
intends  having  his  useless  foot  taken  off  and  a  cork  one 
substituted.  I  rather  fear  the  latter  article  vrill  be  in 
demand  since  the  Mexican  war  has  crippled  so  many. 
Should  this  raise  the  price  so  much  that  poor  soldiers 
are  not  able  to  purchase  this  powerful  auxiliary  to 
locomotion,  I  think  the  Government  in  whose  behalf 
they  suffered  ought  to  supply  them  with  so  important  a 

"  The  boy  with  the  bruised  arm  is  still  here,  and  is 

recovering  slowly.     Mr. started  for  Snug  Harbor 

this    afternoon.      Mr.    E gave    him    free    tickets, 

Josiah  furnished  him  with  a  little  of  the  needful,  and  I 
put  up  for  him  a  basket  of  provisions  for  the  journey. 

''  D 's  miniature  vessel  is  finished  at  last,  and 

was  launched  about  a  week  since  ;  it  was  very  hand- 
some.    The   man   carried   it  home   and  was  liberally 


rewarded ;   he    returned   very  mucli   pleased   "witli   the 
"house,  the  lady,  and  the  money.     In  love,  I  remain, 

"  Yours, 

"  L.  B.  Bacon.'' 

To  the  same,  on  receivino;  intellio-ence  of  her  son's 

''January  Sth,  1848. 
"  Mj  dear  sister : — Though  we  have  for  some  days 
feared,  and  were  thus  in  some  measure  prepared  for  the 
sad  tidings  of  dear  Theodore's  decease,  yet  when  we 
learned  that  it  had  actually  taken  place  I  found  that 
hope  of  his  recovery  had  predominated  in  our  breasts. 
Oh,  that  God  would  give  us  each  grace  to  say,  '  Thy 
will,  not  mine,  be  done.'  We  need  divine  help  to  attain 
that  humble  submission  to  our  Father's  will  wliich  is  so 
desirable  and  so  necessary.  This  our  heavenly  Father 
requires  of  us,  even  under  such  severe  affliction  as  that 
which  now  rends  your  maternal  bosom.  The  desire  of 
your  eyes  is  taken  from  you  at  a  stroke.  He  was 
a  son  every  way  worthy  of  jour  warmest  affections :  one 
to  whom  you  were  looking  as  a  solace  and  support  to 
your  declining  years :  one  who  bade  fair  to  be  an 
ornament  to  society  and  a  comfort  to  us  all.  All  our 
fondest  wishes  could  not  keep  him ;  human  love  and 
skill  could  not  save  him  from  the  grasp  of  death. 
There  is  only  one  solace — and  is  it  not  sufficient  ? — our 
Father  in  heaven  saw  it  best  to  take  him,  and  allows  us 
to  hope  that  our  loss  is  the  dear  one's  gain.  I  feel 
assured  that  amid  this  stunnino;  affliction  vou  will  strive 
to  say,  with  God's  dear  servant  of  old,  *  The  Lord  gave, 

BIOGRAPHY   OF   MRS.    LYDIA   B.    BACON.  251 

and  the  Lord  hatli  taken  away,  and  blessed  be  the  name 
of  the  Lord.' 

"  We  trust  tliat  this  bereavement  will  be  sanctified  to 
us  all.  May  we  receive  the  admonition  that  this  painful 
dispensation  is  intended  to  give,  and  be  ready  when  our 
summons  shall  come  to  lay  aside  the  flesh  which  now 
cumbers  the  immortal  spirit.  Soon,  very  soon,  some 
one  of  us  who  now  survive  will  be  called  to  follow  our 
departed  T.  Oh,  may  we  not  only  be  prepared  to  go, 
but  anticipate  our  departure  with  pleasure.  Dear  sister, 
we  do  sympathize  with  you  most  truly  in  this  sore  dis- 
appointment of  your  most  fondly  cherished  hopes. 
Although  I  am  not  a  mother,  and  may  not  know 
exactly  a  mother's  grief,  yet  I  feel  deeply,  tenderly  for 
you,  and  pray  our  Father  in  heaven  to  comfort  you. 
Eemember  that  it  is  He  who  hath  done  it;  not  an 
enemy,  but  your  best  friend ;  and  he  has  promised  to 
bind  up  your  broken  heart  if  you  will  cast  your  care  on 
him.  Lean  then  upon  his  Almighty  arm,  and  he  will 
give  you  *  the  oil  of  joy  for  mourning,  and  the  garment 
of  praise  for  the  spirit  of  heaviness.'  To  his  grace  I 
commend  you,  husband  joining  with  me  in  love  and 

*'  This  letter  is  necessarily  short,  as  I  wished  to  send 
it  by  Joseph,  and  have  met  with  many  interruptions 
while  writing.  When  you  can  spare  Anna  we  shall  be 
glad  to  have  her  return.  God  bless  and  keep  you  all, 
is  the  prayer  of 

"  Your  affectionate  sister, 

*'  Lydia  B.  Bacox.'' 

252  BIOGRAPHY   OF   MRS.    LYDIA   B.    BACON. 

The  letter  wliicli  follows  was  addressed  to  her  beloved 
Mrs.  Boyd,  who  was  the  "  dear  Elizabeth "  of  her 
earlier  correspondence. 

''February  Wtli,  1848. 
''  Thanks — a  thousand  thanks  for  your  highly  inter- 
esting letter.     It  was  indeed  refreshing  to  my  spirits  to 
receive  so  rich  an  evidence  of  your  continued  affection, 
though  I  have  never  doubted  it  for  a  moment.     It  was  so 
deliglitful  to  hear  from  you  and  yours,  and  also  from 
the  many  others  linked  with  you  in  memory's  chain  and 
in  the  closest  affections  of  my  heart.     But  especially 
did  I  prize  tidings  from  the  beloved  members  of  your 
family,  whose  kindness  never-failing  in  the  hour  of  need 
was  so  grateful  to  us  then,  and  will  be  gratefully  re- 
membered  '  while  life  and  thouoht  and  beino;  lasts.' 
Your  beloved  mother  and  grandmother:  how  kind,  how 
delicate  were  their  attentions.     i\nd  your  father  was  no 
less  our  constant  friend.     My  heart  swells  with  grati- 
tude to  our  Father  in  heaven  for  strewing  in  my  path 
so  many  flowers  all  along  life's  toilsome  way.     When  I 
look  back  for  tlie  shadows  of  my  pilgrimage  they  are 
almost  lost  in  the  sunshine  of  divine  goodness  that  has 
poured  its  radiance  around  me.     And  mercy  still  follows 
us ;  we  are  continued  in  this  situation  where  we  can  be 
active  and  useful  if  we  will.     Pray  for  us,  that  while 
the  diseased  body  of  the  poor  sailor  is  cared  for,  tlie  sin- 
sick  soul  may  not  be  forgotten  or  neglected.     In  both 
these  respects  we  have  constant  calls  upon  our  sympa- 
thies and  best  efforts,  and  it  is  very  pleasant  to  be  able 
in  any  degree  to  alleviate  suffering,  whether  of  mind  or 

BIOGRAniY  OF   MRS.    LYDIA   B.    BACON.  253 

"  I  know  you  would  feel  for  tlie  sailor.  He  lias  a 
claim  upon  the  consideration  of  all,  for  he  certainly 
contributes  to  the  comforts  and  luxuries  of  all.  And  yet 
what  does  the  poor  seaman  receive  in  return  hut  hard 
fare  and  often  hard  usage.  Thanks  to  him  who  once 
'  pressed  a  sailor's  pillow/  and  selected  for  his  bosom 
friends  some  of  this  humble  class,  a  better  day  seem^ 
dawning  upon  '  the  sons  of  tlie  Ocean.'  The  weather- 
beaten  tar  is  beginning  to  feel  and  to  act  as  if  he  too 
belonged  to  the  immortal  part  of  God's  creation.  We 
often  have  very  interesting  cases  among  those  who  are 
brought  to  the  Hospital.  Over  six  tJiousand  have  been 
here  since  our  sojourn  in  this  place,  a  period  of  nearly 
seven  years.  With  three-fourths  of  this  number  Ihave 
had  personal  conversation.  What  a  responsibility.  Wo 
to  us  if  we  are  unfaithful  to  such  a  trust !  But  I  have 
dwelt  long  enough  upon  this  subject ;  my  apology  must 
be  that  it  is  one  which  lies  very  near  my  heart. 

"  It  gave  us  great  pleasure  to  hear  that  you  were  so 
well.  Nothino;  would  oive  us  more  satisfaction  than  to 
visit  you  at  your  own  home  and  behold  you  surrounded 
by  your  little  flock.  Should  our  lives  be  spared  till 
the  railroad  communicates  with  your  place  we  shall 
certainly  try  to  come.  But  life  is  very  uncertain,  and.  I 
am  daily  admonished,  both  by  my  own  infirmities  and 
the  deaths  of  my  friends  and  neighbors,  that  this  is  not 
my  home.  Well,  if  I  am  prepared  for  an  exchange  of 
worlds,  no  matter  how  soon  my  summons  shall  come. 
For  however  j^leasant  or  desirable  the  situation  we  may 
occupy  here,  yet  heaven  is  better.  Oh,  for  that  faith 
which  will  enable  us  to  feel  alvrays  as  the  apostle,  that 
while  it  was  better  to  depart  and  be  with  Christ,  we  are 

254  BIOGRAPHY   OF   MRS.    LYDIA   B.    BACON. 

willing  to  stay  and  suffer  here  if  our  Master  requires. 
This  state  of  mind  would  he  easy  to  attain  if  our  faith 
and  love  were  commensurate  with  God's  gracious  and 
blessed  promises  to  those  who  trust  him.  Is  it  not 
delightful,  when  we  get  a  glimpse  of  the  blessed  haven 
of  eternal  rest,  to  reflect  that  the  time  is  coming  when 
we  shall  be  admitted  to  its  blessedness?  Then  shall 
we  worship  God  in  the  beauty  of  holiness,  without 
temptations  to  annoy  or  sin  to  mar  our  services.  Our 
praises  will  then  be  spontaneous  and  pure,  and  while  we 
gaze  with  rapture  on  that  divine  Saviour  who  died  to 
redeem  us,  our  united  song  shall  burst  forth  in  the 
strain,  '  Worthy  is  the  Lamb  that  was  slain  to  receive 
power,  and  riches,  and  wisdom,  and  strength,  and 
honor,  and  glory,  and  blessing.'  Shall  we  indeed  be 
permitted  to  svrell  that  strain  ?  And  will  it  be  ours  to 
join  in  the  answering  chorus,  '  Blessing  and  honor,  and 
glory  and  power  be  unto  him  that  sitteth  upon  the 
throne,  and  to  the  Lamb  forever  and  ever.'  How  many 
of  our  dear  friends  have  preceded  us  to  that  better 

"  Since  I  wrote  you  last  I  have  lost  my  dear  aged 
mother,  eighty-six  years  of  age.  She  slept  in  Jesus, 
and  '  her  children  buried  her.'  Her  last  work  on  earth 
was  for  the  widow  and  fatherless.  I  visited  her  a  short 
time  before  her  death,  and  spent  two  weeks  with  her. 
It  was  a  pleasant  and  I  trust  a  profitable  visit.  As  I 
left  her  she  took  me  in  her  arms  and  blessed  mo  saying, 
*  I  never  shall  see  you  again.'  The  next  time  I  saw 
her  she  was  on  the  same  spot  where  we  took  our  last 
farewell  for  time,  hut  in  her  coffin. 

*'  We  are  rejoiced  to  hear  that  your  dear  parents  and 

BIOGRArnY   OF   MRS.    LYPIA   B.    EACOX.  255 

granclmotlicr  are  so  well.  Surely  the  latter  is  blessed 
with  a  green  old  age  in  the  midst  of  her  numerous 
progeny.  Give  our  kind  regards  to  her  and  to  them 
all.  How  vividly,  as  I  write,  they  all  come  in  review 
before  me.  It  seems  but  as  yesterday  since  I  was 
associated  with  them  in  the  dear  Sabbath  school,  and 
passed  so  many  happy  liours  in  the  Bible  class  with  my 
beloved  Elizabeth  at  my  side. 

*'  I  received  a  letter  yesterday  from  sister  Harriet  B., 
for  which  I  have  been  looking  for  several  long  months. 
I  am  rejoiced  to  hear  that  her  darling  daughter  is 
happily  united  to  one  who  seems  every  way  worth}^  of 
her.  He  was  chosen,  I  doubt  not,  both  by  mother  and 
child  for  his  intrinsic  worth.  There  is  a  young  lady  in 
Boston  who  has  a  large  fortune,  and  wishes  to  wed  a 
deserving  young  man  who  is  poor.  Her  father  rejects 
him  with  scorn,  telling  his  child  that  she  ought  to  look 
for  a  fortune  with  a  husband,  and  gives  a  reason  which 
strikes  me  most  singularly,  viz  :  that  she  has  so  much 
money  she  ought  to  marry  rich. 

"  My  sentiments  respecting  the  war  coincide  exactly 

with   yours.      I   hope   should   E be    spared,  the 

experience  which  he  may  gain  in  his  present  situation 
will  be  of  importance  to  his  whole  future  life,  and  that 
he  may  return  unscathed  shall  be  my  prayer  and  hope. 
This,  dear  Elizabeth,  I  consider  possible,  even  to  the 

soldier.     For  has  not  E been  reared  in  the  nursery 

of  piety  and  virtue  ?  Has  he  not  been  taught  to  raise 
his  infant  heart  in  praise  and  prayer  to  his  God  and 
Father  ?  And  will  not  the  pious  counsels  which  he  has 
received  in  his  early  days  abide  with  him,  and  be  a  safe- 
guard in  the  time  of  trial  and  temptation  ?     Often  will 


lie  think  of  dear  friends  at  home — the  sweet  home  of 
childhood  and  riper  years.  How  will  the  tender  love  of 
parents,  the  sweet  affection  of  '  hirth-mates  ^  rise  to  his 
rememhrance  and  fill  his  heart  till  his  eyes  overflow 
with  manly  tears. 

"  You  know,  dearest,  that  my  husband  wTnt  into  the 
army  young,  (in  the  war  for  sailor's  rights,)  and  I 
accompanied  him.  I  can  then  speak  from  experience, 
for  our  early  instruction  was  like  a  seven-fold  shield 
around  us.  And  the  restraining  grace  of  God  enabled 
us  to  resist  much  that  was  evil.     Take  comfort  then ; 

pray  much  for  your  dear  E ,  and  w^rite  to  him  often, 

that  he  may  be  reminded  of  your  affectionate  solicitude 
and  feel  the  force  of  early  ties.  God  guard  him,  and 
bless  you  all. 

"  Yours  ever, 

"  L.  B.  Bacon.'' 

To  Mrs.  H.  B.,  of  Sackett's  Harbor,  upon  the  mar- 
riage of  her  only  daughter. 

''  Fehruary  23,  1848. 
"  Right  glad  was  I,  my  dear  sister  Harriet,  to  receive 
your  long  looked  for,  and  most  deeply  interesting  epistle. 
I  felt  assured  that  the  neswpaper  which  I  received  a 
short  time  since,  was  only  the  harbinger  to  a  more  full 
account  of  the  late  happy  addition  to  your  family  circle. 

We  congratulate  you  that  your  dear  H is  united  to 

one  who  (from  the  description  of  disinterested  friends,) 
we  judge  to  be  most  worthy  of  her.  Dear  sister,  may 
your  heart  be  filled  with  gratitude  to  the  Giver  of  all 
good,  for  such  a  happy  consummation  of  your  hopes  for 

BIOGRAniY   OP   MRS.    LYDIA   B.    BACON.  257 

your  only  dauglitcr.  Swcot  Harriet,  the  beloved  cliild 
of  my  aftections,  whom  I  cradled  in  my  arms  during  the 
first  moments  of  her  conscious  existence,  what  shall  I 
say  to  her  ?  For  several  years  I  watched  the  promising 
hud  of  artless  childhood.  After  the  separation  of  sev- 
eral intervening  years,  I  again  saw  that  bud  of  promise 
blossctned  into  beautiful  womanhood — just  such  a  char- 
acter as  I  desired  and  expected  to  see  developed.  And 
now  she  has  chosen  as  her  companion  for  life,  one  with 
whom  she  has  every  rational  prospect  of  happiness, 
obeying  the  injunction  to  marry  in  the  Lord.  May  your 
precious  lives,  dear  friends,  be  spared  to  each  other — 
may  you  grow  in  grace  and  in  the  knowledge  of  God. 
Then,  while  journeying  through  your  earthly  pilgrim- 
age, you  will  taste  life's  sweetest  joys,  be  prepared  for 
its  sorrows,  if  they  come,  and  enter  at  last  into  that 
rest  for  the  people  of  God.  You  make  me  ashamed, 
sister  IL,  of  my  inefficiency,  when  I  see  how  constantly 
you  are  engaged  in  promoting  the  happiness  of  all  whom 
providence  places  within  your  reach.  When  I  compare 
myself  with  you,  I  feel  as  if  I  had  done  nothing  that 
cost  me  any  sacrifice  or  self-denial.  All  that  I  have 
done  has  been  so  easy  and  pleasant  that  I  often  reproach 
myself  as  bearing  no  cross.  And  life  with  me  is  ebbing 
fast ;  soon,  very  soon,  will  the  night  of  death  come  and 
close  all  my  earthly  labors.  Pray  for  me,  dearest,  that 
I  may  be  more  diligent  and  efficient  in  my  Master's 
cause.  You  ask  after  our  health.  Mr.  Bacon's  is  very 
good,  though  he  is  just  now  afflicted  with  a  cold.  Mine 
is  not  good  at  all,  and  yet  no  one  would  judge  from  my 
appearance  that  I  had  any  aches  or  pains.  But  I  feel 
that  life  may  soon  terminate  with  me  ;  all  I  desire  is  t^ 


"be  prepared  to  go  joyfully  when  my  snmmons  comes. 
Oh,  for  that  faith  which  will  enable  me  to  welcome 
death,  '  the  end  of  cares,  the  end  of  sins/ 

"  My  niece,  Anna  S ,  is  with  us  altogether,  except 

occasional  visits  to  her  family  at  Sandwich.  She  went 
down  there  this  winter  to  spend  Thanksgiving,  and 
found  a  sick  brother  rapidly  declining  with  quick  con- 
sumptioik  He  w^as  a  medical  student  and  a  very  prom- 
ising young  man.  He  was  two  years  older  than  Anna, 
and  one  in  whom  many  hopes  were  clustered  ;  alas  ! 
only  to  fcide.  His  mother  feels  it  deeply  but  bears  the 
blow  like  a  Christian.  He  was  her  youngest  son  ;  and 
from  being  so  near  to  Anna  in  age,  was  her  favorite 
brother  and  companion.  He  was  expecting  to  study 
practice  in  the  Hospital,  and  w^e  w^re  promising  our- 
selves much  pleasure  from  having  him  with  us.  But 
God  prepared  him  and  then  took  him  to  himself 

*'  My  dear  Harriet,  there  is  one  part  of  your  letter 
which  it  really  requires  some  philosophy  to  read  with 
patience.  It  is  the  information  that  you  came  so  near 
to  us  and  yet  w^e  did  not  meet.  I  verily  believe  that 
you  w'ere  in  New  York  at  the  same  time  that  w^e  were. 
Why  could  w^e  not  have  known  it  ?     I  visited  our  old 

friends,  the  S family,  and  had   a  most  delightful 

time.  Mr.  and  Mrs.  S.  are  not  much  altered  during  the 
years  since  w^e  met.  Her  hair  is  of  the  same  beautiful 
golden  hue,  and  shades  her  open  white  brow  as  sweetly 
as  ever.  We  talked  of  you  and  all  dear  friends  at 
Sackett's  ;  nor  did  we  part  until  we  had  once  more  knelt 
at  a  throne  of  grace  to  supplicate  blessings  for  them  and 
for  ourselves.     This  reminded  me  forcibly  and  touch- 

BIOGRAPHY   OF   MRS.   LYDIA   B.    BACON.  259 

inglj  of  the  times  wlien  our  little  band  used  to  meet 
and  mingle  our  prayers  with  you  and  others  wlio  liave 
entered  the  '  better  land.' 

"  We  visited  Staten  Island  and  the  Seamen's  Retreat, 
and  Snug  Harbor,  located  there.  These  are  most  excel- 
lent establishments  for  the  comfort  of  the  poor  sailor. 
The  Snug  Harbor  was  the  gift  of  a  noble  sea  captain. 
His  remains  are  interred  under  a  splendid  marble  mon- 
ument in  front  of  the  house.  The  monument  is  sur- 
rounded by  an  iron  railing,  within  which  are  beautiful 
weeping  willows,  rose  bushes  and  other  shrubbery.  The 
building  and  every  thing  within  and  around  it,  are  as 
handsome  and  convenient  as  could  be  desired.  This 
establishment  is  expressly  for  old  and  disabled  seamen, 
who  have  no  home  or  friends  to  take  care  of  them. 
When  I  saw  it  I  did  wish  I  had  a  few  of  some  people^ s 
hoarded,  rusty  dollars,  to  build  such  an  one  in  our  own 
State.  I  do  think  the  generous  donor  appropriated  his 
money  most  admirably.  AVe  have  been  enabled  to  send 
some  of  our  poor  sailors  there. 

"  What  a  difference  a  few  years  has  made  in  the 
speed  of  traveling.  When  we  went  to  Sackett's  Harbor 
in  1816,  it  took  us  twenty-four  hours  to  get  from  Boston 
to  New  Haven.  Now  we  left  Boston  at  seven  in  the 
morning,  reached  Nl-w  Haven  at  one,  P.  M.,  and  taking 
thence  a  steamboat  to  New  York,  took  our  tea  in  the 
latter  city  at  seven  in  the  evening.  However,  it  is  cer- 
tainly not  to  my  taste  to  travel  with  lightning  speed ; 
for  I  wish  to  see  something  of  the  country  as  I  travel, 
and  to  he  whirled  past  every  pleasant  or  interesting 
spot,  is  very  tantalizing. 

"  In  August  we   took  Anna  and  went  '  down  East,^ 

260  BIOGRAPHY  OF   MRS.    LYDIA  B.    BACO^T. 

never  having  seen  that  far-famed  locality.  Wc  felt 
well  paid  for  our  journey  ;  every  thing  was  most  propi- 
tious to  our  enjoyment,  and  we  had  a  delightful  time, 
Anna's  company  and  pleasure  adding  much  to  our  own. 
We  left  home  on  Monday  morning,  took  seats  in  the 
seven  o'clock  train  of  cars  at  East  Boston,  and  arrived 
at  Portland  at  twelve.  Mr.  Bacon  has  a  married  sister 
(the  wife  of  a  Baptist  clergymen)  residing  at  P.,  and 
with  them  we  stayed  until  Tuesday  noon.  We  then 
emharked   on   a  steamer  to  sail  up  the  Kennebec  to 

Augusta.     Tlie  K is  a  beautiful  river,  whose  banks 

are  ornamented  with  fine  thrifty  villages.  On  Wednes- 
day we  rode  from  Augusta  across  the  country  forty 
miles  to  Belfast.  This  part  of  our  journey  was  per-, 
formed  in  the  good  old-fashioned  way,  by  a  stage-coach. 
We  had  fine,  strong  horses,  and  a  good  driver ;  so  away 
we  went  over  hill  and  dale  enjoying  every  object  worth 
looking  at.  I  saw  some  most  splendid  trees  ;  and  was 
foolsih  enough  to  v\'ish  some  v»-ere  on  the  Hospital 
grounds  at  home.  If  wisliino-  would  have  wafted  them 
there,  I  am  sure  the  grounds  would  have  been  finely 
ornamented  ere  our  return.  From  Belfast  we  went  by 
steamboat  in  three  hours  to  Bangor,  which  is  a  fine  city 
huilt  on  two  Idlls.  Here  my  husband  had  a  niece  resid- 
ing, with  whom  we  took  tea  and  passed  a  very  pleasant 
evening,  after  riding  around  the  city  and  admiring  its 
beauties.  The  next  morning  we  started  for  home,  going 
down  the  Penobscot  to  Portland,  which  we  reached  on 
Priday  evening.  Here  we  tarried  with  our  dear  mother 
Bacon  and  children  ;  and  a  sweet  and  quiet  Sabbath 
prepared  us  for  our  ride  home  in  the  cars  on  Monday. 
Portland  is  a  lovely  city.     Its  elms  vie  with  those  at 


'New  Haven  bolli  in  numbers  and  magnitude.  We 
visited  the  spot  where  the  remains  of  the  sainted  Payson 
rest,  with  feelings  of  veneration  and  love.  But  I  must 
close,  or  my  descriptions  will  weary  your  patience. 
Husband  joins  me  in  fervent  regards  to  you  and  yours, 
as  well  as  to  all  our  dear  friends  at  the  Harbor. 
"I  am,  in  the  best  of  bonds, 

"  Your  sister  Lydia.'' 

The  next  letter  is  addressed  to  the  same  friend  more 
than  a  year  after  the  preceding,  with  congratulations 
upon  a  most  interesting  occasion — the  birth  of  her  first 
grandchild.     It  is  dated 

''3IarcJi  19th,  1849. 
"  My  very  dear  sister: — Most  sincerely  do  I  rejoice 

with  you  that  your  dear  H has  become  the  joyful 

mother  of  a  living  child.  Dear  little  Hattie,  who 
used  to  run  to  meet  us  with  open  arms,  shouting  with 
eager  tones,  '  here  is  Uncle,  here  is  Auntie  f  what  a 
lovely  childliood  was  hers.  How  tenderly  was  she 
reared  by  her  parents,  who,  receiving  her  as  a  lent  bless- 
ing, brought  her  up  for  God,  ever  holding  her  at  his 
divine  disposal.  Well  has  he  rewarded  you  for  this 
full  surrender,  by  sparing  her  to  you  so  long,  and  giving 
her  dear  father  the  privilege  of  seeing  her  choose  the 
Lord  for  her  portion  ere  he  was  called  away.  Verily, 
<  they  that  trust  in  the  Lord  shall  want  no  good  thing.' 
And  now  this  dear  one  has  in  turn,  one  committed  to 
her  to  be  trained  '  in  the  nurture  and  admonition  of  the 
Lord.'  Oh,  may  she  have  wisdom  and  strength  given 
her  to  discharge  aright  her  sweet  and  lioly  duties. 


"  It  gives  US  great  pleasure  to  hear  that  her  health 
and  yours  is  so  good.  This  is  a  blessing  which  few 
appreciate  as  they  should.  My  imagination  loves  to 
dwell  around  your  home ;  and  in  thought  I  see  you  with 
grateful  acknowledgment  of  God's  goodness,  engaged  in 
making  others  happy.  How  delightful,  could  I  step  in 
,as  in  former  days,  and  receive  your  cordial  greeting. 
We  feel  very  grateful  for  your  kind  invitation  to  visit 
you  ;  hut  fear  we  shall  not  he  able  to  accomplish  so 
desirable  an  object  this  season.  You  must  not  let  any 
thing  prevent  your  visiting  us,  should  you  come  this 
way.  We  are  still  at  the  Hospital,  and  things  remain 
much  as  they  were  when  you  were  here.  A  new  Admin- 
istration has  taken  the  reins  of  government,  and  it  is 
expected  there  will  be  some  changes  ;  but  we  do  not 
anticipate  a  removal.  My  husband's  health  is  good  and 
mine  is  very  tolerable.  I  am  thankful  to  be  enabled  to 
perform  my  customary  and  most  interesting  duties  ;  and 
grateful,  I  trust,  that  my  situation  enables  me  to  be 
useful  without  much  bodily  fatigue.  I  couhl  not  fill 
any  sphere  of  labor  which  required  great  physical  activ- 
ity ;  as  I  am  still  troubled  with  that  affection  of  the 
heart  which  forbids  all  violent  exercise.  I  expect  this 
disease  will  end  my  mortal  career  sooner  or  later,  and 
probably  in  a  sudden  manner.  My  own  feelings  as  well 
as  ihe  repeated  instances  of  the  kind  which  fall  under 
my  own  observation,  warn  me  that  '  in  an  hour  when  I 
think  not,'  the  Son  of  man  will  come.  Dear  sister,  I 
ask  your  prayers  that  I  may  live  in  constant  readiness 
for  this  great  event. 

"  What  a  momentous  age  we  live  in  !     What  strange 
things  are  taking  place  in  our  world  !     Kings  are  flee- 


ing  from  tlicir  tliroiics,  and  tlio  Pope  losing  liis  glory 
and  power.  Error  is  overwliclmed  with  the  rapid  marcli 
of  the  Gospel  truth ;  and  all  things  seem  tending 
toward  the  ushering  in  of  that  day  so  long  predicted, 
when  '  all  shall  know  iho  Lord.'  In  every  direction  we 
hear  of  revivals  of  relio^ion.  After  such  a  lone:  declen- 
sion  it  is  indeed  joyful  tidings  that  the  Spirit  of  the 
Lord  is  visiting  not  only  our  highly  favored  land,  but 
other  countries.  Even  the  Islands  of  the  sea,  with  their 
abundance,  are  being  converted  unto  God.  Our  village 
is  sharing  in  the  rich  effusions  of  the  Holy  Spirit ;  and 
many  of  our  youth  are  earnestly  seeking  the  pearl 
of  great  price.  It  is  so  delightful  to  see  tlie  young 
consecrating  the  morning  of  their  days  to  Christ.     Our 

own  A ,  though  naturally  amiable  and  not  opposed 

to  the  truth,  still  remains  unmoved  and  seems  to  rest 
satisfied  without  a  hope  in  Christ.  Though  admonished 
of  her  own  frailty  by  the  sudden  departure  in  two  suc- 
cessive years  of  a  beloved  brother  and  sister,  she  still 
defers  the  great  work  of  preparing  to  meet  her  God.  I 
am  distressed  on  her  behalf,  and  beg  you  will  join  your 
prayers  to  mine  that  she  may  not  put  off  this  great 
work  till  her  probation  is  forever  closed.  We  have  a 
boy  whom  the  Lord  sent  us  last  summer,  in  whose  wel- 
fare I  am  much  interested.  Last  May  a  man  was 
brought  here  severely  injured  by  a  fall  into  tlie  ]iold  of 
a  vessel.  After  lingering  awhile  in  much  suffering,  he 
expired.  His  son,  a  boy  of  fourteen  years,  had  accom- 
panied him  from  Ireland  ;  and  wlien  he  was  brought  to 
the  Hospital,  this  lad  was  left  at  a  common  sailor's 
boarding-house  in  Boston.  Here  he  staid  for  some  time 
until  he  became  anxious  at  not  hearing  from  his  father ; 

264  BIOGRAPHY   OF   MRS.   LYDIA   B.    BACON. 

and  coming  to  Chelsea  to  make  inquiries,  lie  found  liim 
in  his  coffin  !  The  poor  child  was  overwhelmed  with 
grief;  and  the  consciousness  of  his  situation  without 
mone}^  or  friends,  or  home,  made  him  almost  frantic. 
Our  sjmipathies  were  strongly  moved,  and  our  first 
thoughts  were  to  rescue  him  from  his  present  distress 
by  sending  him  hack  to  his  friends  in  Ireland.  But  he 
gave  a  sorrowful  negative  to  our  proposal,  saying  that 
he  had  nothing  to  do  there,  and  that  his  mother  was 
too  poor  to  take  care  of  him.  *  Would  he  like  to  be  a 
sailor  ? '  was  the  next  question.  '  No,  he  did  not  like 
the  sea,  and  should  rather  do  any  thing  else  than  go 
again  upon  the  ocean.'  After  keeping  him  a  few  days 
till  we  could  form  some  little  judgment  of  his  capacity 
and  disposition,  husband  gave  him  the  offer  to  stay  and 
work  for  him  ;  asking  him  '  if  he  w^ould  be  a  good  boy  ?' 
*  Indeed,  sir,'  said  he,  '  I  would  be  as  good  as  ever  I 
could.'  Thus  far  he  has  redeemed  his  promise.  He 
was  brought  up  a  decided  Catholic  ;  had  partaken  the 
wafer ;  been  to  mass,  and  confession  strictly,  and  had 
all  the  superstitions  of  his  sect  well  rooted  in  his  mind. 
But  being  a  shrewd  and  sensible  boy,  as  soon  as  the 
errors  and  delusions  of  his  religion  were  pointed  out  to 
him,  he  saw  and  frankly  acknowledged  them.  His  in- 
quiring mind  soon  learned  to  discriminate  between 
truth  and  error.  The  Bible  was  placed  in  his  hands, 
and  lie  soon  read  it  through,  re-perusing  many  parts  of 
it,  and  committing  whole  chapters  to  memor}-.  The 
Assembly's  Catechism  he  has  recited  to  me,  and  under- 
stands it  well.  The  old-fashioned  Primer  is  now  in  his 
hands,  with  the  good  sayings  and  inimitable  poetry  of 
the  '  Cradle  Hymn,'  *  John  Eogers,'  and  even  '  Youno; 


Timothy.'  I  have  lived  my  childhood  over  again  in 
hearing  him  repeat  these  familiar  and  most  excellent 
sayings.  The  Primer  lies  on  the  '  what-not/  iyi  my  best 
room,  and  there  it  sliall  ever  have  a  place.  I  both  love 
and  venerate  it;  and  take  more  delight  in  reading  it 
now  than  when  I  was  a  child.  Besides  these  books  I 
gave  the  boy  D'Aubigne's  History  of  the  Eeformation. 
He  read  it  with  the  avidity  of  a  man  eating  his  first 
meal  when  starving  with  hunger.  Many  other  good 
books  he  has  also  perused,  reading  much  of  them  aloud 
to  me,  while  I  sat  at  my  sewing,  and  frequently  stopping 
to  make  his  comments  or  inquiries.  He  is  a  very  good 
reader,  and  has  quite  a  decent  education,  having  been 
three  years  at  the  National  school.  He  will  be  put  to 
some  good  trade  or  business  as  soon  as  we  can  find  the 
rio;ht  thino;  for  him.  Meanwhile  he  will  remain  with  us, 
and  we  shall  do  all  we  can  for  him  temporally  and  spir- 
itually. Ho  attends  church  with  us,  and  also  the 
Sabbath  school,  of  which  he  is  very  fond.  He  treasures 
up  the  preaching  in  his  memory  and  can  repeat  most  of 
it  when  he  comes  home.  We  hope  that  he  is  now  seek- 
ing his  soul's  salvation.  He  appears  like  a  sincere  and 
earnest  inquirer.     The  visit  from  our  former  beloved 

pastor,  Mr.  B ,  was  delightful  to  us.     To  hear  his 

voice  once  more  in  prayer  and  in  pleasant  converse,  and 
to  have  the  privilege  of  receiving  him  as  our  guest,  was 
a  treat  indeed. 

'*  Husband  unites  with  me  in  love  to  yourself,  to  Har- 
riet and  her  husband,  not  forgetting  the  welcome  little 
stranger.  Da,  my  dear  sister,  write  often,  and  greatly 
oblige  your  most  affectionate, 

"  L.  B.  Bacon." 


The  writer  well  remembers  the  affecting  case  of  the 
Irish  Orphan,  described  in  the  foregoing  letter.  It  was 
a  beautiful  afternoon  in  the  month  of  June  when  Mrs. 
Bacon's  niece,  with  one  or  two  young  companions,  made 
me  a  visit ;  bringing  with  them  a  parcel  of  cotton  upon 
which  they  most  industriously  commenced  operations. 
They  were  sewing  for  the  desolate  and  destitute  orphan  ; 
and  with  hearts  glowing  with  compassion  and  tender- 
ness, related  to  me  his  sorrowful  story.  The  poor  lad 
was  soon  comfortably  clothed ;  and  cheered  by  tbe  kind- 
ness and  generosity  with  which  he  was  treated,  soon 
became  contented  and  happy.  I  often  saw  him  at  the 
Louse  of  my  friend,  who,  much  delighted  with  the 
attainments  and  rapid  improvement  of  her  protege, 
occasionally  invited  me  to  test  his  knowledge  in  gram- 
mar and  arithmetic,  or  to  hear  his  reading  which  was 
quite  correct  and  intelligent. 

^'  During  the  winter,  his  kind  protectors  sent  him  to 
the  public  school,  where  his  progress  in  learning,  under 

the  tuition  of  Mr.  H ,  the  accomplished  teacher  of 

the  '  Boys'  Grammar  School,'  was  rapid  and  praisewor- 
thy. The  pious  zeal  of  Mrs.  Bacon  was  not,  however, 
rewarded  by  the  lad's  conversion,  although  he  became  a 
decided  Protestant.  He  maintained  a  reo;ular  and  affec- 
tionate  correspondence  with  his  mother,  sending  her  (as 
soon  as  he  could  command  any  wages)  as  much  of  his 
earnings  as  he  could  spare.  She,  of  course,  bitterly 
deplored  his  renunciation  of  Popery,  and  strove  with  all 
a  mother's  energy  and  a  papist's  zeal,  to  win  him  back 
to  the  faith  of  his  fathers.  But  her  efforts  were  fruit- 
less. Her  boy  had  reached  a  country  where  the  people 
dare  to  think  for  themselves;  and  the  full  blaze  of  gospel 

BIOGRAniY   OF   MRS.    LYDIA   B.    BACON.  267 

light  had  forever  chased  away  the  darkness  of  '  the  Man 
of  Sin.' 

"  I  will  only  say  further  respecting  this  lad  (now 
grown  to  manliood)  that  after  staying  with  his  friends 
as  long  as  was  thought  best,  he  was  helped  to  a  situation 
as  a  mechanic,  in  which  he  still  lives  and  labors. 
Should  this  account  meet  his  eye,  may  the  memory  of 
Mrs.  B's  kindness  and  Christian  love,  melt  his  heart." 

To  Mrs.  T . 

"  Szptember  3c?,  1849. 

•'*  My  dear  sister : — I  think  it  high  time  that  we 
should  recognize  each  other's  existence  at  least  by  ex- 
changing a  few  lines.  I  do  not  know  but  I  sliall  forget 
how  to  use  my  pen,  for  I  Iiave  not  written  a  letter  this 
summer.  I  said  summer,  but  ah  !  the  summer  has  fled 
never  to  return,  and  many  with  it  have  gone  to  the  land 
of  silence.  Death  is  doing  his  strange  work  here  at  a 
fearful  rate.  I  do  not  mean  in  the  Hospital,  for  although 
we  have  had  more  patients  this  season  than  ever  before, 
and  now  number  one  hundred  and  thirty,  we  have  had 
but  four  deaths  in  the  last  two  months.  No  cases  of 
cholera  have  occurred  here  as  yet,  but  we  cannot  tell 
how  soon  it  may  come.  The  patients  are  packed  too 
close  ;  the  upper  hall  is  full  of  beds,  and  the  wards  have 
double  the  number  that  is  common. 

"  AVe  have  been  thinking  of  a  visit  to  Sandwich,  but 
at  present  we  shall  not  be  able  to  come  ;  it  is  about  as 
much  as  we  can  do  to  find  beds  and  bedding.  I  have 
not  been  away  to  pass  a  day  the  wliole  summer.  I  have 
double  care  and  anxiety  because  Mrs. ,  [one  of  her 

268  BIOGRAPHY   OF   MRS.    LYDIA   B.    BACON. 

most  efficient  assistants,]  is  gone.  I  hope  she  may 
return  hy-and-bye.  She  has  left  the  situation  which  she 
took  in  Boston ;  the  confinement  and  bad  air  injured 
her  health.  She  has  now  gone  into  the  country  for  a 
few  weeks,  and  I  think  if  she  gets  better  she  may 
return  here.  She  is  an  excellent  woman,  and  is  very 
much  missed  in  the  Hospital. 

*'  I  spoke  of  the  sickness  in  town ;  the  dysentery  is 
the  prevailing  disease,  and  is  unusually  fatal  here  this 
season.  You  remember  the  two  dear  children  of  our 
pastor.  I  am  sure  you  will  be  shocked  when  I  tell  you 
that  their  sweet  little  Nettie  is  dead,  and  Cyrus  is  not 
expected  to  live.  The  day  previous  to  the  commence- 
ment of  their  sickness,  Josiah  and  myself   with  some 

others  took  tea  at  Mr.  L 's.     As  I  entered  the  yard 

they  both  bounded  to  meet  me,  apparently  in  perfect 
health,  blithe  and  happy  as  two  little  fawns.  Their 
gayety  struck  me  forcibly,  recalling  the  days  of  happy 
childhood.  Each  of  them  gave  me  a  kiss  and  a  hand, 
and  leading  me  to  the  house,  waited  upon  me  up  stairs 
to  lay  aside  my  bonnet  and  shawl,  and  then  accompanied 
me  to  the  parlor.  During  the  afternoon  they  seemed 
perfectly  happy,  and  the  propriety  and  sweetness  of 
their  behavior  left  an  impression  on  our  minds  never  to 
be  erased.  Before  the  next  morning  they  were  both 
taken  sick  with  the  dysentery,  and  the  little  girl  lived 
but  one  week.  Her  dear  parents  felt  the  blow  most 
deeply,  but  have  set  their  people  an  example  of  Christ- 
ian resignation.     Mr.  L said  '  the  day  little  Nettie 

was  buried  was  one  of  the  happiest  of  his  life,  on 
account  of  the  felt  presence  of  his  Saviour.'  '  It 
seemed,'  he  said,  '  as  if  while  my  heavenly  Father  with 

BIOGRAPHY   OF   MRS.    LYDIA    B.    BACOX.  2G0 

one  luiiid  was  crushing  me  to  tlie  earth,  witli  the  otlier 
he  sustained  my  fainting  spirit,  bound  up  my  bruised 
and  bleeding  heart,  and  poured  in  the  sweetest  and 
most  bk'ssed  consolations.'  The  dear  child  was  buried 
upon  tlie  Sabbath.  The  coffin  was  borne  from  the  house 
to  the  cliurch  by  some  young  lads  on  Sabbath  afternoon. 
The  seivices  were  conducted  by  Dr.  Edward  Beecher 
and  Mr.  Kirk,  and  were  most  appropriate  and  affecting. 
The  little  boy  was  not  expected  to  live  through  the  day, 
and  it  was  a  solemn  funer.l  to  us  all.  I  tliink  I  never 
passed  such  a  Sabbath.  My  feelings  were  different  from 
any  tiling  whith  1  hr.d  ever  expeiienced  before  ;  I  can- 
not describe  them.  Eternity  seemed  very  near,  and 
the  vail  which  hides  it  from  our  sioht  seemed  very  thin. 


"  S'pt  4:th.  Little  Cyrus  is  still  living,  although  a 
great  si.fferer.  But  it  is  thought  he  cannot  continue 
many  hours.  Many  other  families  are  suffering  with 
the  same  disease  ;  some  are  already  bereft.  Thus  the 
tenderest  ties  are  being  broken,  and  the  mourners  go 
about  the  streets. 

"  Sept.  'oth.  Dear  little  C.  has  gone ;  his  happy 
spirit,  released  from  the  sick  and  suffering  tenement, 
has  fled  to  the  arms  of  his  Saviour,  who  said,  '  Suffer 
little  thildren  to  come  unto  me.'  If  the  best  of  atten- 
tion and  skill  couhl  have  saved  his  life  he  would  not 
have  died.  But  God  saw  what  was  best  for  him,  and 
for  his  afflicted  parents,  who  are  now  childless.  And 
though  they  know  not  now  the  reasons  for  this  double 
stroke,  the  time  will  come  when  all  these  mysteries 
shall  be  explained.  These  children  were  lovely  in  life, 

270  BIOGRAPHY   OF   MRS.    LYDIA   B.    BACON". 

and  in  death  scarcely  divided.  Cjrus  knew  not  that 
his  sister  had  gone  before  him  ;  -what  will  be  his  sur- 
prise to  meet  her  in  glory  !  But  I  must  close,  with  a 
kind  remembrance  to  all. 

*'  Yours  ever, 

"  L.  B.  Bacon." 

To  Mrs.  E.  C.  B. 

"  April  20tJi,  ]  850. 

"  My  very  dear  E.: — Most  thankfully  do  I  acknowledge 
the  re  eipt  of  your  long  expected  letter.  I  lejoice 
again  to  recognize  your  own  dear  handwriting,  and  to 
be  assured  of  your  welfare.  Olten  do  we  tliink  and 
speak  of  your  sAveet  though  short  visit  to  us.  Shall  we 
not  praise  God  that  in  his  kind  providence  he  permitted 
us  to  meet  under  such  pleasant  circumstances.  Can  we 
not  say  emphatically  that  all  our  heavenly  Father's 
dealings  with  us  have  bi'cn  replete  with  mercies.  And 
although  we  have  both  been  afflicted,  yet  were  not  even 
these  blessings  in  disguise?  Even  the  intirmities  of 
our  poor  frail  bodies  are  sent  in  kindness  to  admonish 
us  of  our  approaching  dissolution,  and  warn  us  to  be 
ready  for  our  summons  when  it  shall  come.  Oh,  let  us 
love  to  anticipate  the  hour  when  our  trials,  doubts  and 
fears  will  all  be  over,  and  in  the  presence  of  our  Saviour 
we  shall  worship  the  triune  God  without  sin,  hateful, 
dreadful  sin!  Remember  your  unwcrthy  friend,  dear 
E ,  at  a  throne  of  grace,  and  pray  that  I  may  at  the 
last  be  found  on  the  rioht  hand  of  the  Judo-e. 

"  Thank  you,  dearest,  for  particulars  respecting  your 
beloved  family  at  Sackett's.  How  delightfid  it  would 
be  to  meet  them  all  once  more  under  that  hospitable 

BIOGRAPHY   OF   MRS.    LYDIA   B.    BACON.  271 

roof.     Do  remember  us  with  great   aflection   to  them 

all,  not  forgetting  cousin  G 's  family,  for  whom  we 

shall  ever  retain   the   warmest  friendship.     We  had  a 

little  visit  from  Dr.  H last  winter,  and  were  very 

much  pleased  with  him.  We  only  regretted  that  we 
could    not    have    seen    him    more.       Our    good    Mrs, 

McL has   been  called   again  to    mourn:    her  son 

James  having  deceased  at  California.  He  had  obtained 
a  good  situation  there  with  very  fair  prospects.  His 
brother,  the  doctor,  with  whom  the  climate  did  not 
agree,  had  concluded  to  return  home;  but  just  on  the 
eve  of  departure  he  was  called  to  the  sick  and  dying 
bed  of  Ins  brother.  He  attended  him  faithfully,  but 
his  disease  was  very  violent,  and  he  had  to  bury  him  in 
that  land  of  strangers. 

''  We  have  been  called  to  part  with  another  of  our 

dear    nephews.     G ,   the   second    son  of  my  sister 

J ,  died  of  consumption  in  March.     He  was  a  young 

man  of  iwin'y-five,  of  superior  abilities,  and  with  much 
to  live  for ;  of  course  death  was  to  him  unexpected  and 
undesirable.  But  ere  it  came,  he  sought,  and,  (we 
trust,)  found  the  Saviour.  His  end  was  peace,  calmly 
and  without  a  struggle  falling  asleep  in  Jesus. 

"  The  husband  of  our  L.,  (Dr.  Judd,)  has  been  in 
Boston  on  his  way  to  England,  whither  he  goes  on 
business  f  ;r  King  Kamehameha,  I  believe  to  negotiate 
a  treaty  with  Great  Britain.  He  stopped  but  a  short 
timi",  l)Ut  on  his  return  he  will  pass  some  time  in  the 
United  States,  and  I  presume  will  visit  your  part  of  the 
country.     He  has  two  of  the  native  princes  with  him. 

*'  1  am  very  sorry  to  hear  that  brother  Gallagher's 

272  BIOGRAPHY  OF   MRS.    LYDIA   B.    BACON. 

health  is  so  poor.  When  lie  was  here  and  told  me  of 
his  labors  I  thought  he  would  not  be  able  to  endure 
them  long.     We  were  anxious  to  hear  whether  your 

dear  S is  at  Mount  Holyoke  school,  but  could  learn 

nothing  about  her  from  the  young  lady  who  goes  from 
Chelsea.  I  shall  be  as  well  satisfied  if  she  remains  at 
home — '  sweet  home/ — with  parents  so  well  qualified  to 
teach  her.  I  hope  and  trust  your  dear  children  will 
repay  you  for  all  your  anxiety  and  care.  IMay  they 
each  be  living  members  of  the  household  of  faiih. 

"  Husband  joins  me  in  most  affectionate  remembrances 
to  you  and  yours,  and  hopes  that  we  shall  soon  have  the 
pleasure  of  seeing  you,  Providence  permitting.  Mr. 
Langwortliy  desires  his  affectionate  regards  to  yourself 
and  husband.  His  health  is  not  good,  although  he 
labors  as  abundantly  as  ever.     I  am  most  sincerely, 

'*  Yours, 

"  L.  B.  Bacon.'' 

A  word  in  reference  to  the  royal  family  of  the 
Sandwich  Islands,  spoken  of  in  the  preceding  letter. 
The  king  referred  to,  on  whose  bidialf  T)i\  J  add  was 
then  journeying  to  England,  was  Kamchameba  Tiiird, 
who  deceased  a  few  months  since.  At  the  present  date, 
(Feb.  IGth,  1855,)  the  latest  intelligence  is  as  fallows: 
"The  first  appearance  in  public  of  his  present  Majesty 
King  Kamehameha  4th  was  on  Sunday,  the  21st  of  Dec, 
in  the  house  of  God.  He  led  his  sister,  her  royal  Highness 
Princess  Victoria,  and  was  followed  by  the  ministers  of 
the  late  King.  The  latter  had  offered  iheir  resignations 
to  his  present  Majesty,  but  had  been  requested  to  retain 
office  for  the  present  at  least."     The  new  king  is  one  of 

BIOGRAPHY   OP   MRS.    LYDIA   B.    BACON.  273 

the  royal  princes  spoken  of  in  Mrs.  Bacon's  letters  as 
traveling  in  this  country  and  England  with  Dr.  Judd,  in 

To  Mrs.  E.  C.  B. 

''August  Sill,  1850. 

*'  I  did  not  intend,  my  dear  E.,  that  your  letter 
should  have  remained  so  lono;  unanswered.  I  am 
always  glad  to  hear  from  you,  and  your  last  letter  was 
douLly  welcome.  I  hope  ere  this  your  dear  Sophia  and 
her  father  have  regained  their  health,  and  that  you  are 
all  in  circumstances  of  mercy  and  comfort.  Perhaps 
this  may  find  you  at  the  loved  homestead  at  the  Harbor  ; 
long  may  you  be  favored  with  such  a  retreat.  I  did 
hope  we  might  be  able  to  compass  a  visit  to  you  this 
season.  But  it  will  not  be  expedient  to  leave  our  post 
at  present  long  enough  to  perform  such  a  journey  with 
comfort.  I  cannot  with  impunity  bear  the  fatigue  of 
rapid  traveling,  as  I  could  have  done  twenty  years  ago. 

*'  Mr.  Bacon  has  been  quite  unwell  since  June,  and 
though  now  better  has  still  to  be  careful.  He  went  to 
Washington  on  business  for  the  Hospital,  and  the  heat 
which  was  so  excessive  overcame  him  much.  This, 
together  witli  the  quantities  of  iced  water  which  he  from 
necessity  drank,  made  him  for  a  time  very  sick.  Then 
he  had  been  denied  his  usual  sleep  in  consequence  of  op- 
pressive air  in  small  confined  lotlging  rooms,  whicli  con- 
trasted so  miserably  with  his  large  airy  cli amber  at 
home.  He  would  not  have  gone  had  he  dreamed  of 
suffering  so  much  from  the  heat.  But  he  had  long 
wished  to  visit  the  seat  of  government,  and  as  he  had 

274  BIOGRAPHY   OF   MRS.    LYDIA   B.    BACON. 

business  which  rendered  it  desirable  for  him  to  go,  and 
be  could  do  it  without  expense  to  himself,  it  seemed  too 
good  an  opportunity  to  be  misimproved.  But  how  little 
do  w^e  know  what  is  best.  Though  he  succeeded  in  his 
business,  his  life  w^as  w^ell  nigh  sacrificed ;  never  befure 
have  I  seen  him  so  prostrated.  Thanks  to  a  kind 
Providence  he  now  seems  to  be  gaining. 

"  Oar  dear  pastor's  health  w^as  poor  through  the 
winter,  and  in  the  spring  he  had  a  most  generous  offer 
of  a  free  voyage  to  Europe,  which  it  was  thought  best 
he  should  accept.  He  w^ent  in  great  haste,  having  only 
one  week  to  think  of  and  prepare  for  his  journey.  =■•'  '■- 
o  o  o  y(e  hope  he  will  be  home  in  October.  He  writes 
most  interesting  communications  from  the  different  places 
which  ho  visits.  In  London  he  passed  some  hours  with 
my  husband's  brother,  who  has  resided  there  for  many 
years.  He  has  reared  a  lovely  family  in  that  great 
metropolis,  all  of  w^hom,  Mr.  L.  writes,  are  worthy 
descendants  of  the  New  England  stock.  We  do  want 
to  see  our  dear  pastor  very  much.  The  Lord  spare  him 
and  return  him  to  us  in  due  time.  His  wife  and  family 
are  well.  The  little  son  born  last  O^^tober  is  a  very 
sweet  child,  and  helps  to  beguile  his  mother's  lonely 
hours  during  his  father's  absence. 

"  And  now,  my  dear  E.,  I  would  ask,  did  you  see  Dr. 
Judd  ?  I  hope  you  did,  as  I  know  the  pleasure  it  would 
give  you.  We  had  a  delightful  call  from  him  with  the 
princes.  A  longer  time  could  not  be  devoted  to  us,  as 
their  time  was  so  closely  occupied  during  their  stay 
in  the  city,  which  was  necessarily  short.  The  princes 
were  tired  with  beino;  '  lions/  and  sio-hed  for  their  own 
dear   iJaud   home.      They  were  truly  elegant  young 

BIOGRAPHY   OF   MRS.   LYDIA   B.    BACON.  275 

men,  dignified  yet  social,  and  hope  to  Le  able  to  do 
mucli  for  their  race  when  tliey  return.  The  young  heir 
to  the  crown  I  tliought  very  manly,  and  think  lie  will 
make  a  noble  and  elegant  Christian  monarch  if  he  lives 
to  succeed  to  his  father's  throne.  May  God  spare  his 
life  and  that  of  his  brother,  and  make  them  instruments 
of  good  to  their  country  and  to  His  cause. 

"Dr.  Judd  I  think  an  interesting  man.     It  was  very 

gratifying  to  me  to  see  L 's  husband.     He  spoke  in 

the  highest  terms  of  his  wife,  saying  that  she  had  been 
every  thing  to  him,  not  only  relieving  him  from 
domestic  cares,  but  accomplishing  much  beside  by  her 
example  and  influence. 

"  I  am  grieved  to  hear  that  the  health  of  your  dear 
Sophia  is  so  imperfect,  and  hope  she  may  gain  relief 
from  her  journey.  Yet  I  must  be  permitted  to  say  that 
although  such  changes  are  sometimes  doubtless  beneficial 
to  the  health,  yet  in  my  opinion  rest,  entire  rest  from  all 
care  and  excitement  is  letter.  For  there  are  no  comforts 
like  home  comforts ;  and  the  excitement  generally 
attendant  upon  traveling,  especially  at  the  present  day, 
often  counteracts  all  the  benefit  hoped  for  from  a  change 
of  air  and  scene.  Thus  I  fear  that  our  dear  pastor  will 
not  derive  the  good  which  he  desires  and  expects  from 
his  foreign  tour.  With  his  active  temperament  and 
ardent  susceptibilities  I  am  afraid  he  will  not  keep  still 
long  enough  to  know  what  rest  is,  and  thus  will  defeat 
the  principal  end  proposed  and  wished  for  by  us  all.  But 
why  do  I  speak  of  rest  here  ?  There  is  not  much  for 
any  one:  this  world  and  its  inhabitants  are  made  for 
action.  Bat  there  is  a  rest  which  remaineth  for  the 
people  of  God.     Let  us  look  forward,  dear  E.,  to  that 


rest,  preparing  ourselves  for  it  by  tlie  cultivation  of  a 
meek  and  quiet  spirit,  and  perfect  resignation  to  our 
heavenly  Father's  Avill.  May  we  have  grace  to  fill  our 
allotted  sphere  on  earth,  and  at  last  to  meet  our  Saviour 
and  Judge  with  joy  unspeakable.  Meanwhile  I  remain 
now  and  ever, 

"  Your  most  sincerely  attached, 

''  Lydia  B.  Bacon." 

To  Mrs.  C. 

^'January  14,  1851. 

''  My  dear  sister  and  friend : — By  a  paper  from  your 
son  Walter,  and  subsequently  a  letter  from  sister  H.  B., 
we  were  informed  of  the  death  of  our  dear  brother  in 
Christ,  yonr  beloved  husband.  This  was  sad  tidings 
indeed  to  ns  who  so  well  knew  his  excellences  and 
virtues.  We  hasten  to  tender  you  our  warmest  sympa- 
thies in  this  your  great  bereavement.  How  our  hearts 
swell  vrith  emotion  as  we  call  to  mind  his  kindness  to 
us  as  individuals,  as  neighbors,  and  as  friends  in  the 
bonds  of  Christian  love.  The  church  too  is  left  to  mourn 
one  who  could  ill  be  spared.  All  his  consistent  conduct 
as  a  follower  of  Christ,  his  indefatigable  zeal  and  per- 
severance in  his  Master's  cause,  are  among  the  sweet 
recollections  of  the  past,  '  links  in  memory's  chain ' 
never  to  be  broken.  May  his  mantle  fall  on  one  who  in 
all  things  will  adorn  as  he  did  the  doctrines  he  professed. 

"  My  dear  sister,  I  know  that  in  your  present  grief 
vain  is  human  help  and  sympathy.  It  is  only  firm  faith 
in  your  heavenly  Father  that  can  at  all  assuage  such 
sorrow.  The  confidence  that  He  doeth  all  thin^^s  well  • 
the  assurance  that  your  dear  husband,  the  companion  of 

BIOGRAPHY   OF   MRS.    LYDIA   B.    BACON.  277 

your  youtli,  has  gone  Avliere  pain  and  sin  can  no  more 
disturb  him  or  mar  liis  perfect  blessedness — these  are 
the  most  timely  solace  in  an  hour  like  this.  Think  of 
him,  then,  as  now  enjoying  the  immediate  presence  of 
that  Saviour  whom  not  having  seen  he  loved ;  and  as 
rejoicing  in  all  the  ways  and  in  all  the  means  v/hich  God 
employed  to  bring  him  to  that  blessed^abode.  This  will 
calm  your  grief  and  make  it  settle  into  that  quiet,  holy 
resignation  wliich  says,  '  Thy  will,  oh  God,  be  done.' 
Thus  will  you  be  enabled  still  to  perform  your  accus- 
tomed duties,  both  temporal  and  spiritual,  as  well  as  the 
new  responsibilities  which  will  novv'  devolve  upon  you.  It 
will  not  be  long  before  you  and  I  shall  be  called  to  pass 
over  Jordan,  and  tread  its  cold  waves  after  those  who 
have  gone  before  us.  I  have  reason  to  think  that  time 
may  be  very  near  with  me.  Oh,  may  I  be  prepared  for 
tlie  solemn  exchange  of  v\'orlds. 

"  We  often  think  and  speak  of  you,  dear  friend,  and 
your  repeated  kindnesses,  (especially  when  we  were 
neighbors  in  Ambrose  street,)  are  among  the  most 
pleasant  recollections  of  the  past.  As  I  recall  those 
scenes  when  Mr.  B.  boarded  with  you  :  the  meetings,  the 
Sabbath  school,  the  pleasant  social  intercourse  in  which 
your  husband's  image  and  your  own  are  ever  blended, 
my  heart  throbs,  my  eyes  overflow  with  tender  memories. 
Oh,  Sackett,  '  with  all  thy  faults,  I  love  thee  still.'  A 
few^  of  those  first  friends  there  are  yet  in  being,  some 
are  gone  home  and  others  are  widely  scattered.      Some 

of  the  latter  we  occasionally  meet.      Mr.   G has 

been  to  see  us,  Mr.  B ,  with  his  wife  and  daughter, 

and  some  others. 

"We  enjoy  tolerable  health.  Husband's  is  much 


better  than  mine;  but  bis  is  not  that  perfect  bealtb 
wbieb  was  bis  treasure  for  so  many  years.  Yet  we  are 
tbankful  tbat  it  is  as  well  witb  us  as  it  is,  for  we  bave 
great  mercies.  One  of  tbe  greatest  is  tbat  we  are  in  a 
situation  wbere  we  can  be  bigbly  useful.  We  bave  tbe 
best  of  opportunities  under  tbe  roof  wbere  we  dwell,  of 
being  useful  botb  to  tbe  souls  and  bodies  of  our  fellow- 
men.  Husband  and  myself  find  enougb  to  do  for  tbe 
poor  neglected  sailor,  and  do  not  attempt  to  labor  in  tbe 
Sabbatb  scbool  as  at  Sackett's.  In  ours  we  are  nob 
needed,  tbere  being  teacbers  enougb  witbout  us,  and  our 
duty  is  plain.  At  tbe  bour  for  Sabbatb  scbool  on  Sab- 
batb I  go  into  tbe  ward  wbere  tbe  colored  sailors  are, 
and  bold  a  Bible  class  witb  tbem,  spending  an  bour  in 
conversation,  reading  and  instruction,  as  I  am  able. 
Tbey  all  seem  very  mucb  interested  in  tbe  exercise. 
Sometimes  I  find  a  pious  soul  among  tbem,  and  some- 
times a  very  intelligent  one.  We  bave  now  over  one 
bundred  sick  ones  in  tbe  bouse ;  one  is  dying,  baving,  as 
we  trust,  experienced  religion  upon  bis  sick-bed. 
Anotber,  one  of  my  Sabbatb  pupils,  is  inquiring  '  wbat 
be  must  do  to  be  saved?'  Oh,  the  responsibility  of 
such  a  trust !  May  tbe  blood  of  souls  never  be  found 
in  our  skirts  !  Husband  joins  me  in  sympathy  and  best 
wishes.  May  this  great  loss  be  sanctified  to  you  and 
your  dear  children.  Let  us  bear  from  you  when  you 
feel  able  to  write.  I  must  close,  for  writing  hurts  my 
side  badly. 

"  Yours  in  love  and  tender  sympathy, 

"  L.  B.  Bacon.'' 

BIOGRArHY  OF   MRS.    LYDIA    B.    BACOX.  279 

To  Mrs.  E.  C.  B. 

''  Fehruary  M,  1851. 

"  When  I  received  my  clear  Elizubetli's  letter  I  fully 
intended  to  answer  it  immediately  ;  but  upon  turning 
to  it  for  a  second  perusal,  I  find  it  is  four  weeks  already 
since  its  reception.  You  know  well  enough,  dear  E.,  how 
we  are  situated,  and  can  easily  imagine  that  a  month 
may  pass  away  almost  unnoticed.  Your  letter  brought 
us  tidings   of  sad   changes  among  your  dear  relatives : 

the  death  of  your  grandmother  and  cousin  G .     Of 

the  latter  I  had  been  previously  informed.  Truly  we 
can  say,  '  a  good  man  has  fallen  in  Israel.'  I  know  of 
no  man  for  whom  we  had  a  higher  respect  and  Christian 
love  than  for  him.  His  great  and  uniform  kindness  to 
us  will  ever  be  engraven  on  our  hearts.  Your  dear 
grandmother  too ;  every  thing  that  '  is  lovely  and  of 
good  report '  is  associated  with  her  image.  She  was 
always  ready  to  engage  in  every  good  word  and  work. 
How  powerfully  did  her  example  stimulate  me  to  action  ; 
for  with  such  a  prompter  and  aid  who  could  help  going 
forward  in  the  path  of  duty.  And  then  how  undeviating 
was  her  interest  in  our  welfare:  the  same  alike  in  our 
adversity  as  prosperity.  I  did  hope  I  should  be  permit- 
ted to  see  her  once  more  in  this  world  ;  but  it  may 
not  be.  Well,  the  time  is  coming,  I  trust,  when  we 
shall  again  join  in  the  praises  of  redeeming  love,  even 
around  our  Father's  throne. 

"  You  give  a  delightful  account  of  your  own  house 
and  garden.  I  congratulate  you  on  the  possession  of 
such  a  charming  retreat.  I  sincerely  hope  that  you 
may  long  enjoy  it,  and  that  persevering  in  rest  and  quiet 
your  beloved  husband  may  enjoy  conifoi'table  health. 

280  BIOGRAPHY    OF   MRS.    LYDIA   B.    BACO^. 

We  well  remember  tlio  beautiful  lake  upon  which  you 
are  situated.  We  crossed  it  on  our  return  from  Detroit, 
prisoners  of  war,  in  1812.  The  banks  were  then  being 
beautified  with  country  seats  and  cultivated  farms.  I 
assure  you  the  distance  will  not  deter  us  from  visiting 
you,  should  we  be  able  to  leave.  Would  it  not  be  a  de- 
lightful excursion  hence  to  New  York,  then  up  the 
North  Eiver,  and  so  on  to  you  ?  The  thought  of  it  even 
is  too  good  for  such  an  unworthy  worm  as  I. 

"  We  were  glad  to  learn  that  you  had  so  favorable  an 
opportunity  of   seeing  Dr.  Judd  and  the  princes.     It 

was  a  great  treat  to  us  who  knew  dear  L so  well. 

By  the  papers  we  see  that  they  have  safely  arrived  at 
the  Islands,  and  were  received  with  demonstrations  of 
joy  and  respect. 

"  Our  beloved  pastor  has  returned  from  Europe  with 
improved  health,  and  a  heart  overflowing  with  love  to 
God  and  man.  He  is  longing,  praying  and  laboring  to 
see  the  Lord's  work  revived  in  this  place.  Our  house  of 
worship  has  become  so  full  since  his  return  that  several 
families  desiring  to  worship  with  us  have  been  unable  to 
obtain  seats ;  and  the  result  is  that  we  feel  obliged  to 

colonize.     So  with  Mr.  L and  twenty  families,  as  a 

nucleus  for  a  new  church  and  society,  v^e  commenced 
last  Sabbath  to  worship  in  a  Hall.  The  room  is  very 
pleasant,  but  the  tvv'o  flights  of  stairs  which  we  must 
ascend  are  rather  trying  to  persons  whoso  breath  is  short 
as  mine.  The  remainder  of  the  churcli  remain  in  the 
neat  and  commodious  edifice  which  you  worshiped  in 
when  here.  The  attempt  to  build  another  churcli  seems 
formidable,  but  in  the  strength  of  the  Lord  we  will  go 
forward.     He  has  answered  prayer  by  filling  our  house, 

BIOGRAPHY   OF   MRS.    LYDIA   13.    BACON.  281 

and  til  lis  has  made  it  necessary  to  form  aiiotliT  cliuivli 
and  build  again,  and  will  not  lie  cjntiiuie  to  It 
is  a  o-reat  thing  at  our  time  of  life  to  go  over  the  same 
ground  again  :  but  we  left  it  entirely  with  Providence 
to  dispose*  of  us  as  he  pleased.  We  would  not  decide 
for  ourselves,  but  left  it  to  the  church  to  say  whether 
we  should  go  or  stay.  It  is  just  as  we  would  have  had 
it,  although  we  have  not  said  so  until  it  was  decided. 
You  may  ask,  why  does  the  pastor  go?  It  is  something 
new,  I  know,  to  take  the  pastor,  but  we  think  he  is  a 
more  suitable  person  for  the  enterprise  than  any  one 
whom  we  could  get.  And  besides,  unless  he  would  leave 
no  on.i  else  ivould,  or  at  least  not  a  sufficient  number  to 
accomplish  any  thing.  But  we  would  not  trust  in  man. 
The  work  is  God's  ;  he  alone  can  prosper  any  under- 
takino',  and  'in  his  streno-th  we  will  arise  and  build.' 
So  while  we  have  to  rear  a  new  edihce,  our  brethren 
who  remain  will  have  io  find  them  a  new  minister. 
May  God  prosper  Qnch  branch  in  their  arduous  work. 

"  AVe  still  continue  to  have  large  numbers  of  sick 
seamen  :  chore  are  now  over  one  hundred.  Some  are 
very  interesting  cases.  One  has  lately  deceased,  giving 
evidence  of  a  happy  exchange  ;  he  was  born  in 
H.irtford,  Conn.  After  traveling  the  mighty  deep  for 
some  years,  he  was  sent  here  to  die  of  consumption. 
He  has  no  mother  or  relative  to  mourn  over  his  early 
exit,  or  soothe  his  dying  bed,  his  family  having  all  gone 
before  him,  although  he  was  only  twenty-six.  I  I'elt  it 
a  pi-ivilege  to  minister  to  his  comfort  both  of  soul  and 
boJy.  lie  was  patient,  resigned,  and  grateful  to  1  is 
heavenly  Father  and  to  around  him.  He  was 
here  for  several  months.  The  Sabbath  on  which  ha 


died  I  went  into  his  room  to  read  the  Bible  and  converse 
with  him.  Death  was  making  rapid  strides,  his  throat 
filling  so  that  he  could  not  take  any  food.  But  when  I 
left  him  he  hade  me  good-night  most  pleasantly,  and 
soon  after  his  spirit  took  its  flight  to  that  home  which 
he  had  contemplated  so  often  with  peace  and  joy. 

"  We  have  a  colored  sailor  here, — a  real  African, — 
who  has  lost  all  his  toes,  and  will  he  crippled  for  life. 
When  he  first  came  here,  eight  months  ago,  his  feet 
were  so  had  I  could  not  go  into  his  room  ;  hut  I  used  to 
stand  at  the  door  and  say  a  few  words  to  comfort  him, 
and  as  soon  as  his  condition  would  allow  me  to  sit 
heside  him  I  did  so.  I  found  him  very  ignorant,  know- 
ing only  his  letters.  Feeling  that  he  would  have  many 
weary  hours  ere  his  recovery  I  resolved  to  teach  him  to 
read.  He  can  now  read  in  easy  lessons,  and  is  very 
grateful  to  his  instructor.  I  did  not  pursue  the  same 
course  in  teaching  him  that  I  would  witli  a  child,  hut 
gave  him  lessons  in  which  he  would  get  ideas  as  well  as 
words,  and  this  increased  his  interest.  T  want  that  he 
should  he  able  before  he  leaves  to  read  the  Scriptures, 
that  he  may  become  v/ise  unto  salvation.  He  wishes  to 
return  to  Africa,  and  will  be  sent  by  the  Colonization 
Society  next  spring.     Once  more,  dear  E.,  adieu. 

"L.  B.  Bacon.'' 

To  Mrs.  E.  C.  B. 

''May  17th,  1851. 

"  Ever  dear  E.: — Your  esteemed  favor,  post-marked 
14th  inst.,  is  just  received,  and  I  thank  you  for  this 
fresh  proof  of  your  affectionate  remembrance.  The 
kind  feelings  therein  expressed  I  receive  as  the  offering 

BIOGRAPHY   OF   jMRS.    LYDIA   B.    BACON.  283 

of  tlic  generous  heart  that  dictated  them,  though  far 
beyond  the  deserts  of  the  friend  whom  you  address.  It 
is  true  that  many  of  my  poor  attempts  to  perform  my 
duty  have  been  crowned  with  success.  But  it  is  all  of 
God,  whose  loving  kindness  has  strewn  my  path  with 
flowers.  Although  my  life  has  been  like  that  of  others, 
a  varied  scene  of  sorrow  and  joy,  yet  wdien  I  review  it, 
the  latter  seems  so  to  predominate  as  to  obliterate  all 
traces  of  the  former.  Only  mercy  seems  written  on 
every  page  of  my  long  life,  and  I  have  so  many  good 
things  here  as  to  make  me  sometimes  afraid  that  I  am 
having  them  all  in  this  world.  Oh,  may  I  have  that 
faith  wdiich  is  the  gift  of  God,  and  without  wdiich  it  is 
impossible  to  please  him.  Thus  only  shall  I  be  enabled 
to  fill  the  sphere  which  he  has  allotted  me,  and  having 
the  presence  of  my  Saviour,  go  on  my  w\ay  rejoicing. 
Oh,  the  forbearance  of  God  tow^ards  a  guilty  world ! 
and  especially  toward  those  who  bear  his  name,  with 
some  of  whom  their  profession  is  the  only  token  of  their 

"  AVe  saw  our  dear  pastor  last  evening,  and  gave  him 
your  message.  He  received  it  with  much  pleasure,  and 
returns  you  many  thanks.  The  site  for  our  new  church 
is  chosen,  and  the  building  will  soon  be  commenced. 
Our  village  is  thriving  in  temporals  exceedingly,  and 
there  cannot  fail  of  being  a  large  population.  The 
next  time  you  visit  us  I  hope  you  will  have  time  to  ride 
about  and  see  it  more  than  you  were  able  to  do  in  your 
last  brief  visit.  You  ask  us  many  questions  respecting 
our  former  life  which  we  w^ould  readily  answer  by  letter, 
only  that  w^e  have  concluded — what  do  you  think? — 
that  ive  will  come  and  ansiver  them  in  person.     Yes,  dear, 

284:  BIOGRAPHY   OF   MRS.    LYDIA   B.    BACOX. 

we  liavo  resolved,  Providence  permitting,  to  visit  you  for 
a  i'ew  days  daring  the  first  or  second  u-eek  in  June. 
We  propose  to  come  by  the  way  of  New  York  and. 
Albany,  as  Anna  will  be  with  us,  and  she  has  never  seen 
those  cities.  And  bjsidcs,  should  we  come  by  the  way 
of  the  North  River,  we  could  pass  a  day  with  your  dear 
Sophia  at  Catskill,  if  her  health  will  admit  of  her 
seeing  us.  Now  write  us  if  you  will  be  at  home  at  the 
time  proposed,  and  free  IVom  any  engagements  which 
would   i-ender   our   visit  inexpedient.     Tell  us  frankly 

also   what   you    think  of  our  calling  upon  S .     Do 

not  encourage  us  to  do  so,  unless  you  are  sure  it  will  be 
perfectly  proper  and  agre/able. 

"  We  have  heard  nodiinii-  frjm  Mrs.  Judd  since  the 
doctor's  return,  but  presume  you  will  hear  so  )n.  Were 
you  a-'quainted  wiih  him  before  he  married,  our  friend  ? 
I  had  never  seen  him  before,  but  was  very  favorably 
impressed  by  our  short  interview.  His  manners  are 
A'ery  courteous  and  gentlemanly,  and  1  should  consider 
him  a  man  of  marked  abilii}'. 

"  1  SfJi.  Dear  E.,  husband  r.-ad  my  letter  last  even'ug^ 
and  thinks  1  liave  b.'en  too  posit ive  in  my  calculations  of 
visiting  you  this  summer.  1  am  therefoie  obliged  to 
qualify  my  promise  by  saying  that  if  we  can  do  so  con- 
si:.->tently  with  other  engagements  we  will.  But  if  you 
have  any  ])hins  i'or  that  m  n'h,  do  n^it  let  us  interfere 
witli  them.  Wiite  jast  how  it  is.  1  will  only  say  that 
I  do  not  give  up  the  delightful  hojje  of  sometime 
seeing  you  in  year  own  dear  home,  which  you  d.  scrihe 
so  sweetly.  11,  sband  joins  with  Anna  and  s.  If  in  much 
love  to  you   all  ;   and  as  we  may  possibly  see  you  ^oon, 

BIOGRAniY   OF   MRS.    LYDIA   B.    BACON.  285 

and  ifc  liurts  mo  to  write  mucli,  I  will  close  now  with 
the  promise  of  a  longer  letter  next  time.  Adieu,  my 
beloved.  "  Your  affectionate, 

"  L.  B.  Bacon.'' 

The  journey  which  Mrs.  Bacon  was  so  desirous  of 
taking  to  visit  her  friends  in  the  State  of  New  York, 
(both  at  Geneva  and  Sackett's  Harbor,)  she  did  accom- 
plish as  proposed,  and  enjoyed  it  in  the  highest  degree. 
"Never,"  said  she  to  her  friends  upon  her  return, 
*'  never  was  there  a  June  so  beautiful  before.  It  really 
seemed  as  if  the  heavens  and  the  earth  conspired 
to  heighten  our  enjoyment."  The  following  was  written 
immediately  after  her  arrival  home,  describing  the 
homeward  route. 

To  i\rrs.  B — — d,  of  Geneva. 

'^June  BOth,  1851. 

"  My  very  dear  Elizabeth  : — I  write  to  assure  you  of 
our  safe  return  home.  Our  visit  was  so  sweet  and 
pleasant  that,  now  it  is  over,  I  can  find  no  words  to 
describe  it.  It  does  rejoice  my  heart  to  have  seen  you 
so  comfortably,  so  delightfully  situated.  Oh,  may  your 
life  and  health,  and  that  of  your  dear  family  be  spared 
to  get  good  and  do  good.  And  may  your  love  and 
gratitude  to  the  iVuthor  of  all  these  blessings  be  com- 
mensurate with  the  benefits  bestowed.  How  often  since 
my  return  have  I  thought  of  the  charming  retreat  at 
the  bottom  of  your  garden,  where  I  spent  such  a  pleasant 
morning  vrith  those  dear  little  girls.  It  was  enough  to 
make  any  one  happy  to  witness  their  enjoyment.  As  I 
listened  to  their  exclamation  of   delight  over  their  new- 

286  BIOGRAPHY   OF   MRS.    LYDIA   B.    BACON. 

found  treasures,  a  pebble,  a  leaf,  or  a  sbell,  and  heard 
them  ask,  'Isn't  this  beautiful,'  or  'sweet,'  or  'charm- 
ing,' 1  answered,  '  Yes.'  But  m}-  thought  was,  '  not  half 
so  charming,  sweet,  or  lovely  as  yourselves.'  When  I 
saw  them  playing  with  their  pet  lamb,  I  breathed 
a  silent  prayer  that  th.^ir  hearts  might  be  led  to  *  the 
Lamb  of  God  wliich  taketh  away  the  sin  of  the  world.' 
Our  ride  to  Syracuse  on  our  return  was  very  pleasant. 
After  tea,  learning  that  Mrs.  Heron  was  in  the  house 
where  we  stopped,  we  soon  found  our  way  to  her  room, 
and  were  received  with  much  cordiality  by  herself  and 
husband.  Mi's.  S.  was  also  residing  there  with  her 
daughter.  I  was  very  glad  to  see  her,  as  she  was  a 
great  favorite  of  mine  in  her  youth,  on  account  of  her 
correct  department.  She  looks  so  young  still  that  I 
could  scarcely  bLdieve  it  when  she  told  me  she  was  a 
grandmother.  An  hour  of  svv-eet  converse  flew  swiftly 
by,  and  we  reluctantly  parted  to  get  our  necessary  rest, 
that  we  might  rise  early  and  take  the  cars  for  Oowego. 
We  thouglit  the  ride  to  0.  very  fine,  though  it  was 
through  a  part  of  the  country.  The  sail  from  thence 
to  Sackett's  was  most  delightful.  Tlie  air  was  cool  and 
bracing,  and  we  had  sm  otli  water  all  the  way.  I  need 
not,  and  I  could  not  tell  you  my  feelings  on  bjhohling 
that  place  endeared  to  me  by  a  thousand  tender  reculLc- 
tions.  It  was  there  I  joined  th  ■  people  of  God,  and  there 
His  Spirit  taught  me  in  various  ways  that  I,  even  /,  had 
one  talent  to  improve  for  him.  Till  then,  I  had  lived 
without  any  realizing  sen^e  of  my  obligations.  Oh,  how 
long-suffeiing  and  patient  is  J.  liovah  with  his  rebellious 
and  ungrateful  creatures.  ^My  husband  filt  ratlier  re- 
luctant   to    go    to    Sackett's,  fearing  that  his  feelings 

BIOr.RAniY    OF   MRS.    LYDIA    B.    BACON.  287 

would  be  more  pained  than  pleased,  as  tliere  had  been 
so  many  removals  by  deatli  of  those  wlioni  lie  loved. 
But  he  is  now  glad  he  went,  and  thankfcd  to  those  d<'ar 
friends  who  after  the  lapse  of  so  many  years  greeted  us 
■with  sueh  affectionate  kindness.  It  was  good  to  be  in 
tlioir  midst  once  more  and  join  with  them  in  prayer  and 
praise.  Good  to  see  those  men  who  commenced  their 
Christian  career  in  the  Sabbath  school  now  eWers  in  that 
church  which  first  received  their  covenant  obligation  to 

be  the  Lord's.     We  dined  with  cousin  J 's  widow, 

and  took  tea  with  your  dear  father's  family.  Amid  all 
the  changes,  it  w^as  pleasant  to  be  in  that  same  parlor 
once  moi-e.  How  natural  every  thing  looked,  and  your 
beautiful  mother  hardly  altered  at  all.     I  saw  thiee  of 

your   brothers  ;    E came   from    Oswego   with    us. 

Mrs.  D is  much  the  same,  and  her  two  daughters 

whom  I  saw  are  very  pretty.  One  of  them  is  very 
much  like  what  her  mother  was  at  sixteen.  On  Satur- 
day afternoon  we  went  to  Watertown  to  see  T.  C's 
family.  "We  had  a  charming  ride  over  the  plank  road, 
and  Seward's  Islaud  we  thought  delightful.  Widow  C, 
though  a  sincere  mourner  for  her  husband,  seems  very 
happy  in  her  children.  Her  sons  are  certainly  very  fine 
young  men,  and  must  be  a  great  comfort  to  her. 
Parents  cannot  be  too  thankful  when  their  sons  as  well 

as  daughters  are  pious.     I  saw  your  brother  G 's 

wafe  and  two  of  his  children  ;  they  were  both  beautiful 
How  strano-e  it  seemed  to  see  so  mauy  whom  we  left 
children  now^  fathers  and  mothers  themselves.  Then  I 
realized    my  own  age    more  than  ever  before.     I  waa 

pleased   with  your  sister    H ;    her  frankness  waa 

most  amiable.     We  had  quite  a  time  over  the  flowers  in 


the  garden,  and  slie  gave  me  some  roots  to  take  liome, 
besides  promising  me  that  if  she  comes  to  Boston  she  will 

certainly  visit  us.     Mrs.  B seems  very  happy  in  her 

dear  children,  and  they  are  certainly  precious  ones.      I 

admire  Dr.  H and  do  hope  that  he  may  be  restored 

to  health,  although  my  fears  are  stronger  than  my  hopes. 
"  Wo  left  dear  Sackett's  on  Monday  noon,  and  after 
a  most  charming  sail  among  the  Thousand  Islands, 
arrived  at  Ogdensburg  at  nine  P.  M.  At  ten  the  next 
morning  we  left  0.,  but  being  detained,  did  not  reach 
Montreal  until  nine  in  the  evening.  The  sail  from 
Ogdensburg  to  Montreal  vras  truly  magnificent.  But 
too  much  of  the  awful  mingles  with  the  suUime  in 
coming  through  those  rapids  for  me  ever  to  risk  a  second 
trip  merely  for  j)leasure.  It  is  exciting  in  the  extreme. 
But  the  Almighty  was  our  keeper.  This  is  truly  a 
wonderful  river,  and  taking  it  as  a  vrhole,  perhaps  the 
most  so  in  the  world.  And  such  a  constant  variety : 
from  river  to  lake,  then  through  the  rapids,  then  amid 
boiling  places  like  Hurlgate,  only  more  terrible.  During 
your  passage  through  the  rapids  you  would  think  there 
was  a  strong  gale  of  wind,  v»-hile  at  the  same  time 
on  shore  not  a  leaf  could  be  seen  moving.  In  passing 
the  longest  rapid  I  saw  upon  my  right  a  steamer,  which 
appeared  as  if  poised  in  the  air.  It  vras  passing  up  the 
canal,  and  vras  in  a  lock.  We  must  have  made  a  strange 
appearance  to  them.  I  thought  of  the  observation  of 
your  dear  children  respecting  the  scenery  at  your  lake, 
*  that  we  were  a  picture  to  each  other.'  We  became  ac- 
quainted with  a  very  pleasant  lady  and  gentleman  on 
the  boat,  who  stopped  with  us  at  the  same  hotel  in 
Montreal,  and  we  rode  around  the  mountain- together. 

BIOGRAPHY   OF   MRS.   LYDIA   B.    BACON.  281) 

This  is  a  cliarming  ride,  commanding  a  view  of  a  liiglily 
cultivated  country.  Indeed  it  looked  like  a  beautiful 
garden  spread  out  before  us  ;  the  distance  round  tlic 
mountain  was  about  six  miles,  and  the  roads,  (ascending 
and  descending  gradually,)  were  so  fine  that  I  think  I 
never  took  a  more  pleasant  drive.  On  the  top  of  the 
mountain  stands  a  noble  building,  the  former  residence 
of  the  Canadian  Governor's.  But  since  Lord  Elgin's 
departure  it  has  been  converted  into  a  public  house- 
Its  salubrious  air,  fine  prospect  and  ample  accommoda- 
tions allure  many  to  this  charming  retreat.      ^      '■^      '•'= 

"  We  made  an  acquaintance  on  the  river  with  a  Mr. 

C ,  a  resident  at  Montreal,  and  found  him  a  very 

intelligent  gentleman  who  knew  the  whole  route.  He 
was  like  a  guide  book  to  us,  giving  us  all  needful  infor- 
mation respecting  different  locations  on  the  way.  The 
Lachine  Eapids  we  did  not  pass  through.  These  are 
the  last,  and  are  very  near  to  Montreal.  Only  the  mail 
boat  descends  there.  I  was  thankful  that  we  were  not 
obliged  to,  as  they  are  the  most  terrific  of  all,  being  in 
one  place  quite  perpendicular.  The  boat  dashed  in  and 
under  them  like  a  duck,  and  I  am  told  that  some  ladies 
like  to  go  through  them.  Mr.  C.  told  me  that  he  had 
descended  them  in  an  open  Canadian  boat  with  women 
and  children.  This  reminded  me  of  the  old  boat  song, 
*  Eow,  brothers,  row.' 

*'  We  left  Montreal  on  Thursday  morning,  going  by 
boat  nine  miles,  and  then  by  the  cars  seventeen  miles  to 
St.  John's.  There  we  took  a  beautiful  steamer  up  the 
Lake  Champlain  to  Burlington.  Our  passage  was  most 
delightful,  the  eye  being  gratified  all  the  way  with 
interesting  and  pleasant  sights,  and  the  time  beguiled 


with  intelligent  company.  At  Burlington  we  were 
made  very  comfortable.  Good  fare,  and  a  comfortable 
bed  in  a  large,  airy  room,  refreshed  and  prepared  ns  for 
the  hardest  day's  work  of  traveling  which  we  had  yet 
endured.  This  was  a  jaunt  of  two  hundred  and  thirty- 
three  miles  in  the  cars,  from  Burlington  to  Boston.  We 
left  the  former  place  at  eight  in  the  morning,  and 
reached  the  latter  at  seven  in  the  evening !  Having 
sent  a  notice  of  our  return  by  the  wires  in  the  morning, 

our  faithful  S was  in  waiting  with  the  carryall,  and 

we  soon  arrived  at  our  pleasant  home.  Here  we  found 
all  things  right,  and  were  overwbelmed  with  the  good- 
ness of  our  heavenly  Father,  who  had  guided  and 
guarded  us  in  our  long  and  somewhat  perilous  journey. 
Never  had  we  taken  so  long  a  one  before  except  from 
imperative  necessity,  in  the  way  of  business.  But  this 
was  solely  for  pleasure  and  mental  profit,  and  I  think 
few  could  say  that  they  had  traveled  thirteen  hundred 
miles  with  more  ease  and  delight. 

"  Our  dear  pastor  is  to  leave  next  Monday  with  his 
wife  and  child  on  a  visit  to  his  father  in  Central  New 
York.  He  has  recently  lost  his  mother,  a  dear  and 
most  excellent  woman. 

**  Husband  and  Anna  join  me  in  the  strongest 
expressions  of  love  to  you  all.  Accept  many  thanks 
for  your  kindness  and  attentions  during  our  sojourn 
with  you.  The  savor  of  that  visit  will  long  continue, 
and  the  beautiful  places  to  which  husband  gave  a  name 
will  not  soon  be  forgotten.  Write  soon,  my  dear  E. ; 
every  thing  that  interests  you  will  find  a  quick  response 
in  our  hearts. 

"  I  am,  as  ever,  your  affectionate, 

"  Lydia  B.  Bacon." 

BIOGRAPHY    OF   MRS.    LYDIA   B.    BACON.  291 

To  Mrs.  H.  B. 

''Juhj  lOth,  1851. 

"  My  very  dear  sister  : — "We  are  exceedingly  anxious 
to  hear  from  you  again,  as  the  doctor  was  so  unwell  at 
the  time  we  left  you.  We  regretted  very  much  not  to 
see  your  good  minister  and  his  wife,  and   also  Mrs. 

B .     We  understood  the  latter  was  to  call  upon  us 

on  Monday  or  we  should  have  gone  to  see  them.  The 
time  was  so  short  that  I  could  not  do  all  I  wished.  Mr. 
Bacon  being  out  so  much  had  a  much  better  opportunity 
than  I  of  seeing  the  people.  Now  that  my  visit  is  over, 
it  seems  more  like  a  pleasant  dream  than  a  waking 
reality.  I  ask  myself,  is  it  possible  that  I  have  been 
ao-ain  at  Sackett's  ?  that  I  have  there  met  once  more 
the  dear  friends  with  whom  I  used  to  take  '  sweet 
counsel  and  go  to  the  house  of  God  in  company '  ?  Our 
journey  was  delightful  from  beginning  to  end  ;  not  an 
unpleasant  circumstance  occurred  to  mar  our  enjoyment. 
Tell  dear  Harriet  that  we  experienced  no  discomfort 
from  the  roughness  of  the  passage  to  Kingston.  We 
met  some  delightful  company  on  board  the  boat,  who 
were  our  fellow-passengers  to  Montreal,  and  stopped 
when  there  at  the  same  public  house.  It  was  a  new 
hotel  near  the  Cathedral,  quite  in  the  centre  of  the  city, 
called  the  St.  Lawrence  Hall. 

"  I  wish  you  had  been  with  us  to  enjoy  the  trip  down 
the  St.  Lawrence  Eiver ;  it  must  be  seen  to  be  under- 
stood ;  words  cannot  describe  its  beauties.  I  never  met 
with  any  thing  before  which  more  exalted  my  ideas  of 
Almighty  power  and  skill,  than  those  rapids  and  the 
scenery  which  surrounds  them.  And  that  God  should 
give  to  the  human  mind  skill  to  navigate  them  and  to 


go  by  steam  where  formerly  nothing  hut  the  light 
bateau  of  the  Canadian  dared  to  venture,  is  wonderful. 
I  think  Canada  must  be  a  fine  country,  though  I  should 
not  wish  to  live  there.  I  never  was  so  sensible  of  the 
comparative  j^'^omess  of  the  soil  in  Massachusetts  as  in 
returning  to  the  State  after  journeying  through  Yermont 
and  New  Hampshire.  There  may  be,  it  is  true,  more 
skill  and  intelligence  in  our  agriculture  ;  indeed  there 
must  be  if  we  would  wring  from  nature  any  thing  like 
a  fair  return  for  our  toil.  Never  would  our  State  have 
been  settled  had  it  not  been  done  before  other  and  more 
fertile  portions  of  the  country  were  seen.  But  I  presume 
the  exertion  necessary  to  bring  the  land  into  proper 
tillage,  (especially  in  an  age  when  the  appliances  to 
agriculture  were  fewer  and  ruder  than  at  present,)  was 
one  means  of  producing  such  a  hardy  race  of  men  as  our 
ancestors  were. 

"  Now,  my  dear  sister,  will  you  not  write  soon,  and 
tell  us  about  the  doctor's  health.  We  want  also  to  hear 
of  the  little  darling,  and  her  mother  and  grandmother. 

"  You,   my  dear  sister  H ,  are  very  pleasantly 

situated,  having  what  Thomson  in  his  Seasons  calls  '  an 
elegant  sufiiciency.'  May  you  all  live  to  enjoy  many 
years,  blessing  and  being  blessed.  Eeceive  our  heart- 
felt thanks  for  all  your  kindness  to  us  when  with  you, 
and  do  not  fail  to  give  us  an  opportunity  to  return  it 
ere  long.  Husband  and  Anna  respond  to  all  tiie  kind 
feeling  in  this  letter  for  you  and  yours. 

"  Kiss  little  blue-eyed  Hattie  for  me  ;  her  sunny  face 
is  continually  before  me.  Adieu.  The  Lord  bless  and 
keep  you  all,  is  the  prayer  of 

"  Your  unworthy  friend, 

''  L.  B.  Bacon.'^ 

BIOGrxAPnY   OF   MRS.   LYDIA   B.    BACON.  293 

Soon  after  Mrs.  Bacon's  return  from  this  long  desired 
and  much  prized  visit,  her  affectionate  heart  was 
wounded  and  her  sympathies  called  fortli  by  the  sudden 
and  unexpected  death  of  another  nephew,  tlic  third 
child  of  the  sister  already  twice  so  recently  bereaved. 
Allusions  to  the  death  of  this  kinsman  occur  in  several 
subsequent  letters  beside  the  following,  wliich  is  ad-- 
dressed  to  his  mother  not  long  after  the  sad  event. 

To  Mrs.  S. 

"  August  7th,  1851. 

**  My  dear  sister  will  excuse  my  not  writing  her  ere 
this.  I  have  very  much  wished  to  do  so,  but  could  not 
compose  myself  long  enough  at  a  time,  with  such  con- 
stant calls. 

"  Dr.  I and  his  wife  have  taken  a  journey,  leav- 
ing little  E in  my  care.     He  is  as  little  trouble  as 

a  child  can  be,  yet  the  fear  that  something  might 
happen  to  him  in  the  absence  of  his  parents  has  made 
me  exceedingly  anxious.  Josiah  has  also  been  very 
unwell,  and  he  is  so  unused  to  being  really  sick  that  it 
was  pretty  hard  for  him.  However,  he  is  better  now, 
and  the  dootor  has  returned,  so  that  I  am  relieved  of 
my  most  pressing  cares.  None  of  these,  I  suppose, 
would  be  any  trouble  to  one  who  was  young  and  well ; 
but  old  age  and  infirmity,  you  know,  make  a  world  of 

"  We  have  felt  for  you  very  much,  dear  sister,  in  your 
new  and  unexpected  trial.  Joseph  was  the  last  one 
whom  I  should  have  expected  to  come  to  a  premature 
death.  I  always  thouglit  him  a  man  of  healthy  and 
vigorous  constitution,  and  expected  he  would  live  to  be 


the  prop  of  your  old  ago.  But  our  heavenly  Father 
has  ordered  it  otherwise.  Our  only  consolation  is  and 
must  he  that  He  is  too  wise  to  err,  and  too  kind  need- 
lessly to  afflict.  Oh,  let  us  trust  him  stilL  I  have 
never  knowni  your  trials  experimentally  in  hurying 
promising  children  ;  hut  /  have  had  those  that  required 
faith  to  hear,  and  still  I  w^ould  say,  '  though  he  slay  me, 
yet  will  I  trust  in  him.'  Dear  sister,  while  you  mourn 
over  your  departed  loved  ones,  let  gratitude  fill  your 
heart  for  those  that  remain.  I  pray  that  they  may 
still  he  spared,  and  continue  to  he  a  hlessing  and  a 
conifort  to  you. 

«  ^ ».  says  some  of  my  friends  wondered  that  I 

could  WTite  such  long  letters  ahout  my  journey.  They 
cost  me  much  pain,  it  is  true ;  hut  I  had  enjoyed  much, 
and  ^vished  to  share  that  enjoyment  wdth  those  wdio 
were  not  with  me.  It  would  he  a  poor  delight  to  me 
■which  I  could  not  impart  a  portion  of  to  others. 

*'  We  hope  to  see  you  here  in  the  fall.     Mrs.  IM is 

ready   to  accompany  you   to  New-   York,  and  we  shall 

depend  upon  a  visit  then.     Love  to  sister  T and  all 

friends,  from 

"  Yours  truly, 

''  Lydia.'^ 

To  Mrs.  B.,  of  S.  H. 

"  August  9th,  1851. 
*'Your  precious  letter  of  July  23d  was  gratefully  re- 
ceived.    It  afforded  us  pleasure  to  hear  that  Dr.  H- 

"was  no  worse,  hut  w^as  well  enough  to  journey.  I  write 
this  to  say  that  we  should  ho  most  happy  to  sec 
him  here  to  pass  a  week  or  more  with  us.     He  would 


have  all  the  benefit  of  sea  bathing  and  pure  air,  and  we 
would  try  to  make  him  comfortable  as  possible.  Do 
you  not  think  our  plan  would  do  ?  We  very  much  want 
him  to  get  well,  if  it  is  our  heavenly  Father's  will; 
for  it  docs  seem  as  if  he  could  not  bo  spared  from  his 
dear  family  and  friends.  I  am  very  glad  to  hear  little 
Harriet  is  better.  May  slie  be  continued  to  you  all. 
But  love  her  not  too  well.  Earthly  treasure  is  a  '  broken 
reed/  to  lean  upon,  and  oft  a  spear 

*  On  sharp  point  peace  bleeds  and  hope  exph-es.' 

But  this  is  a  needless  caution,  perhaps,  to  you,  and  surely 
comes  with  an  ill  grace  from  one  who  has  not  had  half 
the  discipline  and  experience  which  it  has  been  your  lot 
to  bear.  I  recollect  your  once  telling  me  that  you  Jiad 
tried  every  rope  in  the  ship ;  and  I  know  your  faith  has 
been  an  example  to  ns  all.  The  recollection  of  my 
visit  to  you,  how  vivid,  how  delightful !  It  will  afford 
food  for  memory  to  feast  npon  for  a  long  time  to  come. 

Abby  T is  longing  to  hear  an  account  of  it  from 

my  own  mouth,  for  she,  too,  was  deeply  interested  in 
Sackett's  Harbor  friends. 

"  Soon  I  suppose  the  C family  will  assemble  to 

witness  the  nuptials  of  Miss  H .     3Iay  every  thing 

be  propitious  to  the  happy  occasion.  Mr.  B ,  I  un- 
derstand, is  to  tie  the  knot  indissoluble.     Eemember  us 

to  them  all,  and  say  to  H that  the  violet  she  gave 

me  bore  the  journey  home  and  is  carefully  cherished 
for  her  sake.  Our  dear  Anna  has  been  much  afflicted 
in  the  unexpected  death  of  her  second  brother,  thirty- 
nine  years  of  age.     He  had  been  residing  in  St.  Louis 


twelve  years  or  more.  For  about  eiglit  months  lie  had 
been  indisposed,  with  cough  and  pain  in  his  side,  but 
never  told  his  friends.  He  tried  the  cod-liver  oil,  but 
without  effect,  and  at  length  became  so  feeble  that  his 
physician  advised  him  to  try  his  native  air.  He  set  out 
for  home,  being  obliged  frequently  to  stop  to  gather 
strength  to  proceed.  When  at  length  he  reached  his 
mother's,  he  entered,  looking  like  a  corpse.  What  a 
shock  to  his  friends,  who  had  not  heard  he  was  sick, 
and  did  not  know  that  he  intended  visiting  them  ! 
Four  weeks  from  the  time  he  entered  the  house  he  was 
carried  from  it  to  his  burial.  0  that  this  afflictive  event 
may  be  sanctified  to  Anna  !  She  feels  her  loss  deeply ; 
may  it  teach  her  the  uncertainty  of  life,  and  the  neces- 
sity of  immediate  preparation  to  meet  the  summons 
which  must  sometime  come  to  her.  This  is  the  third 
severe  blow  which  has  come  to  her  in  less  than  four 
years.  Two  brothers  and  a  sister  in  this  short  period 
have  fallen  victims  to  this  dread  destroyer.  Pray  for  this 
dear  child,  that  her  heart  may  be  softened,  and  that 
she  may  now  make  her  peace  with  God,  and  become  a 
happy  follower  of  the  Eedeemer." 

"  Yours  ever, 

"L.  B.  Bacon." 

To  Mrs.  B d. 

"  Septemher,  1851. 

"  How  delightful  it  would   be,  my  precious  E , 

could  I  just  step  into  your  sweet  home  and  enjoy  an 
hour's  chat,  instead  of  telling  you  my  thoughts  on  paper. 

*  This  prayer  has  been  graciously  answered  in  the  hopeful  con- 
version of  this  young  relative. 

BIOGRAPHY   OF   MRS.    LYDTA   B.    BACON.  297 

But  as  this  cannot  bo,  I  am  truly  thankful  for  so  good 
a  medium  of  communication  as  pen  and  ink ;  for  one 
of  my  greatest  earthly  comforts  is  that  of  holding  con- 
verse with  you  and  yours.  My  visit  renewed  and  deep- 
ened all  my  former  interest ;  and  all  I  have  to  regret 
is  its  briefness.  Oh,  that  visit !  how  we  did  enjoy  it ! 
Your  home  continually  rises  in  imagination  before  me. 
Again  I  am  with  you,  in  your  beautiful  garden,  in  the 
woods,  by  the  lake ;  again  I  see  your  dear  little  girls 
frolicking  with  their  pet  lamb,  and  long  to  be  a  child 
myself  and  join  the  sport.  Kiss  those  darlings  for  me, 
and  do  not  let  them  forget  their  Auntie  Bacon. 

"  How  did  the  children  like  the  '  Bible  Stories  ? '  and 
how  did  you  enjoy  '  Wide,  AYide  World  ? '  I  would 
thank  yon,  ere  I  forget  it,  for  your  letter  describing 
your  visit  to  Albany.  It  was  full  of  interest  to  me,  and 
I  was  delighted  that  you  went. 

"  We  wanted  you  with  us,  week  before  last,  at  Port- 
land, whither  we  went  to  the  meeting  of  the  American 
Board.  It  was  a  feast  indeed.  You  will  of  course  read 
the  report  in  the  papers,  and  I  will  not  enlarge  npon  it. 
The  returned  missionaries  held  an  interesting  meeting 
with  the  children  one  morning.  One  of  the  largest 
churches  was  full  to  overflowing.  It  was  good  to  be 
there,  althongh  I  was  suffering  from  bruises  received 
from  a  fall  the  day  before  we  left  home.  You  remember 
the  situation  of  our  attic  stairs.  I  was  coming  down, 
and,  it  being  rather  dark,  thought  I  was  npon  the  last 
stair  when  I  was  on  the  second.  So  I  stepped  off,  and 
fell,  striking  my  head  just  over  my  right  eye,  and  com- 
ino^  down  with  great  force  npon  my  stomacli  and  ribs. 
I  cannot  describe  to  you  the  dreadful  jar  which  it  gave 


to  my  whole  system.  As  tlie  Hibernian  said,  '  I  iJiought 
I  was  lulled,^  but  soon  rose,  made  tbe  proper  appliances, 
and  the  next  day,  though  feeling  very  lame,  went  to  the 
meeting.  I  had  a  wonderful  preservation  of  life  and 
limb,  for  which  I  hope  I  am  truly  thankful.  I  still  feel 
the  effects  of  my  fall,  and  fear  I  shall  for  some  time. 

*'  How  is  dear  Sophia  D ?     I  sent  her  a  few  lines 

after  our  return,  reminding  her  of  her  promise  to  visit 
us,  and  requesting  her  husband  to  inform  us  at  what 
depot  we  should  meet  them  and  when.  But  having  seen 
and  heard  nothing  from  them,  I  conclude  they  have  not 
visited  the  seaboard.  It  would  have  given  us  great 
pleasure  to  see  and  entertain  them.  Do  remember  us 
to  that  dear  family  most  affectionately,  and  ask  them 
if  they  received  our  letter. 

"  The  great  jubilee"  is  over.  We  trust  it  may  be  pro- 
ductive of  good  and  inspire  the  people  on  both  sides  the 
border  with  a  more  fraternal  feeling.  We  hoped  to  see 
your  dear  father  among  the  visitors,  knowing  his  deep 
interest  in  such  works  of  practical  utility.  I  did  not 
attend  the  celebration  myself,  having  no  desire  to  be  in 
such  a  crowd,  and  thinking  it  better  for  my  health  to 
remain  in  my  peaceful  home.  You  no  doubt  read  the 
proceedings  in  the  papers,  and  know  as  well  as  I  could 
tell  you  how  fine  the  weather  was,  how  splendid  the 
parade,  how  interesting  the  speeches,  &c.,  &c. 

"  Husband  and  Anna  join  me  in  kind  remembrances 

to  you  all.     A fnlly  intended  writing  to  Sophia  ere 

this,  but  has  been  prevented  hitherto.     Tell  dear  S 

*  The  celebration  of  the  completion  of  the  Grand  Junction  Rail- 
way, connectmg  Canada  with  Boston  and  New  York. 

BIOGRAPHY   OF   MRS.    LYDIA   B.    BACON.  209 

we  remember  all  lier  kindness,  and  hope  sometime  to  liave 
an  opportunity  to  return  it.  I  could  but  lainjh  to  liear 
you  projecting  anotlier  visit  from  us  next  summer.  Xo, 
dear,  it  is  your  turn  now,  and  we  shall  hope  to  see  you. 
Adieu  for  the  present. 

**  Your  affectionate, 

''L.  B.  Bacox.'^ 

Mrs.  Bacon's  interest  in  the  new  enterprise  under- 
taken by  a  colony  from  the  church  to  which  she  had 
for  many  years  belonged,  did  not  abate.  Yet  she  loved 
both  the  branches  of  this  fair  and  goodly  tree ;  and  al- 
though her  more  direct  efforts  were  given  to  the  in- 
crease and  enlargement  of  that  one  with  which  herself 
and  husband  were  now  identified,  still  she  never  forgot 
to  pray  for  and  rejoice  in  the  prosperity  of  the  others. 
The  sisters  in  Christ  who  were  accustomed  to  unite  with 
her  in  their  weekly  circle  of  prayer,  will  not  soon  forget 
the  frequency  and  fervor  of  her  petitions  for  ''  the  sister 
church."  Especially  did  she  plead  "  that  God  would 
send  them  a  pastor — a  man  after  his  own  heart,  to  go 
in  and  out  before  them,  and  break  unto  them  the  bread 
of  life.'' 

This  prayer  was  (as  wo  trust)  graciously  answered ; 
and  Mrs.  B.  rejoiced  in  the  event  with  hearty  sincerity. 
The  two  churches  were  now  called  the  "Broadway," 
and  "  Chestnut  street,"  after  the  streets  in  which  they 
were  respectively  located.  The  new  building  was  in 
Chestnut  street ;  and  the  expense  incurred  in  its  erection 
was  so  great,  that  the  ladies  connected  with  the  enter- 
prise resolved  to  furnish  it  from  the  avails  of  their  own 
industry.     Accordingly  a  social  levee  was  held,  at  which 


various  articles  wliicli  tlie  ladies  had  prepared,  and  many 
otliers  wliicli  had  been  generously  bestowed  upon  them, 
were  exhibited  and  sold.  This  explanation  is  given 
that  the  allusions  to  these  facts  in  some  of  the  letters 
which  follow,  may  be  better  understood. 

To  Mrs.  T 

''December  31,  1851. 

''  True,  indeed,  my  dear — our  letters  are  few  and  far 
between.     But  we  have  such  constant  intercourse  with 

and  thus  hear  from  each  other  so  often,  that  it 

seems  almost  like  living  together.  Still  I  should  love 
to  write  oftener,  if  time  and  strength  would  allow  me ; 
but  I  cannot  write  without  hurting  my  side,  and  there- 
fore am  apt  to  omit  it  unless  I  have  something  special 
to  communicate. 

"  You  complain  of  a  monotonous  life ;  but  did  not 
you  ask  for  rest  9  God  has  granted  your  request,  but 
he  has  done  it  in  his  way,  not  ^ours.  Oh,  how 
many  times  has  God  answered  my  prayers  and  given 
me  that  which  I  asked.  But  he  has  always  done  it  in 
his  o^vn  way,  and  often  in  a  totally  different  method 
from  what  I  expected.  I  often  quote  to  myself  those 
expressive  stanzas  of  John  Newton's. 

" '  I  asked  the  Lord  that  I  might  grow 
In  faith  and  love  and  e^ery  grace; 
Might  more  of  his  salvation  know, 
And  seek  more  earnestly  his  face. 
'Twas  he  who  taught  me  thus  to  pray, 
And  he,  I  trust,  has  answered  prayer : 
But  it  has  been  in  such  a  ivay 
As  almost  drove  me  to  desj)air.' 

BIOGRAPHY   OF   MRS.    LYDIA   B.    BACON.  301 

"  The  loss  of  the  babe  was,  I  know,  a  great  disap- 
pointment ;  but  think  of  it  with  other  loved  ones  as 
basking  in  the  sunshine  of  a  Saviour's  love  where  there 
is  no  sin.  Oh,  that  sinless  world!  To  be  without  sin 
for  a  single  moment  would  be  hliss ;  but  to  be  forever 
free  from  it,  unspeakable  blessedness! 

"  I  wdsh  I  had  thought  to  ask  you  to  make  something* 
for  our  sale :  I  am  sure  you  would  have  been  interested. 
I  do  not  very  much  approve  of  fairs  for  religious  pur- 
poses. But  ours  was  not  one  of  the  common  kind: 
every  objectionable  feature,  (as  far  as  we  could  control 
circumstances)  was  carefully  excluded.  '  Grab  boxes/ 
*  lotteries,'  &c.,  which  are  among  the  usual  excrescences 
of  these  occasions,  were  omitted ;  and  propriety  and 
decorum  marked  all  the  proceedings.  The  whole  affair 
was  *  got  up '  in  about  six  weeks.  We  have  three  ves- 
tries under  our  church.  The  largest,  which  wall  seat 
five  hundred,  was  arranged  with  taste  and  beautifully 
decorated  with  evergreens.  In  this  the  sale  was  held ; 
the  tables,  ten  in  number,  which  were  well  filled  with 
useful  and  fancy  articles,  were  upon  the  sides  of  the 
room.  This  left  ample  space  for  visitors  ;  and  although 
there  w^as  a  large  number,  there  was  no  jam.  One  of 
the  smaller  vestries  received  the  hats,  cloaks,  &c.,  while 
in  the  other  tea  was  served  three  times ;  only  as  many 
being  admitted  at  once,  as  could  be  comfortably  waited 
upon.  They  entered  by  one  door  and  retired  by  another, 
so  that  there  was  no  confusion.  We  have  realized 
already  exclusive  of  all  expenses  ^775  dollars,  and  shall 
reach  ^800  or  more.  Besides  this  eff*ort,  we  are  mak- 
ing the  covers  to  our  pew  cushions,  thus  saving  much 
expense  to  the  society.  '••'  '•'  ^^  * 



With  the  compliments  of  the  season,  I  send  you  and 

a  little  present,  the  work  of  my  own  hands. 

"  Yours  truly, 

"L.  B.Bacon." 

To  Mrs.  E.  C.  B. 

^^  January  \st^  1852. 

"  Many,  very  many  happy  returns  of  this  season  to 
my  dear  E.,  to  her  hushand,  and  her  darling  girls.  I 
should  have  answered  your  letter  sooner,  but  wished 
•when  I  did  write,  to  he  able  to  tell  you  something  about 
our  new  church.  But  first  I  must  refer  to  the  contents 
of  your  last,  and  tell  you  how  delighted  I  was  with 
your  description  of  that  wedding.  How  beautiful  must 
have  been  that  garden  with  the  arbor  lighted  within 
and  so  elegantly  adorned ;  and  heaven's  splendid  lamp 
illuminating  the  whole  with  a  brilliancy  which  no  arti- 
ficial light  could  equal.  I  cannot  tell  you  how  much  I 
think  of  you  all  at  Geneva  and  at  Sackett's.  Since 
my  visit  there,  my  heart  has  been  clinging  to  old  friends 
with  fresh  tenacity.  The  fountains  of  memory  were 
stirred  afresh  ;  and  by-gone  scenes  have  risen  up  before 
me  with  a  vividness  at  once  real  and  startlino^.  Hus- 
band  enjoys  the  remembrance  of  our  visit  as  much  as  I 
do ;  it  forms  the  subject  of  much  sweet  mutual  converse. 
How  kind  in  our  heavenly  Father  to  permit  us  so 
great  a  happiness.  I  am  glad  that  your  mother  went 
with  the  bridal  pair  upon  their  journey.  I  think  her 
return  must  have  been  a  little  sad  when  she  came  to 
realize  that  all  her  daughters  have  now  left  the  beauti- 
ful home  of  their  childhood. 

"  Our  new  church  is  a  beautiful  structure.     Only  the 


outside  of  the  edifice  and  the  vestries  are  finished. 
There  are  three  of  these.  The  largest  which  will  seat 
five  hundred  is  desio-ned  for  our  conference  mectincrs. 
At  present  we  use  it  for  public  worship  on  the  Sabbath, 
and  shall,  I  suppose,  until  the  church  is  finished.  There 
are  two  smaller  vestries  opening  into  the  large  one  by 
folding  doors,  and  communicating  also  with  an  entry 
which  is  accessible  to  each  room  independent  of  the 
others.  One  of  these  smaller  vestries  is  for  our  sewing 
circle  meetings  and  the  other  for  our  tea  room  at  our 
monthly  and  annual  social  gatherings.  Opening  from 
the  tea  room  is  a  large  pantry  with  a  boiler  set,  a 
pump,  and  sink.  This  not  only  affords  us  conveniences 
for  tea  at  our  benevolent  and  social  meetings,  but  also 
for  cleaning  the  church  and  vestries  without  troubling 
our  neighbors  for  hot  or  cold  water.  In  addition  to 
these,  we  have  three  closets  which  are  to  hold  our  dishes, 
our  sewing,  and  our  refreshments.  The  latter  are  fur- 
nished by  the  members  and  are  necessary  because  we 
come  to  our  sewing  circle  early  in  the  afternoon  and 
stay  until  nine  in  the  evening.  We  hope  thus  to  accom- 
plish much,  and  to  make  our  gatherings  something 
more  than  a  ceremony.  We  assist  in  supporting  a 
pious  young  man  in  college  who  is  preparing  for  the 
ministry ;  we  clothe  destitute  children  for  the  Sabbath 
school;  we  send  an  occasional  box  of  clothing  to  a  home 
or  foreign  missionary ;  and  the  rest  of  our  earnings  we 
appropriate  towards  defraying  the  expenses  of  our  relig- 
ious enterprise.  Our  house  when  completed  will  cost 
(including  the  organ)  about  g22,000.  The  ladies  of  the 
church  and  society  have  held  a  sale  and  social  levee  to 
assist  in  furnishing  the  edifice.     They  have  raised  over 


jS!800.  The  sale  was  held  during  three  afternoons  and 
evenings.  On  the  last  afternoon,  the  children  were 
admitted,  and  had  a  fine  time  you  may  be  sure.  Each 
child  spent  their  pocket  money  according  to  their  fancy ; 
and  as  there  were  plenty  of  toys  for  sale,  fifes,  drums 
and  whistles  all  sent  forth  their  choicest  sounds.  I 
went  in  on  purpose  to  see  the  children's  happy  faces  and 
watch  their  glee  and  enjoyment.  When  they  had 
amused  themselves  as  long  as  was  judged  best,  we  gave 
them  their  supper  and  dismissed  them,  delighted  with 
their  entertainment. 

"  Do  you  remember  little  Catharine  who  died  such  a 

happy  death  at  her  uncle  Y 's  in  Madison  bai  racks  ? 

I  wrote  a  short  account  of  it  some  years  ago  for  the 
*  Sabbath  School  Visitor.  ^  While  thinking  what  J  could 
do  personally  to  furnish  articles  for  our  tables  at  the 
sale,  it  occurred  to  me  that  I  mio^ht  revise  that  little 
story  and  have  it  printed  and  sold.  A  good  brother  in 
the  church,  learning  my  purpose,  offered  to  print  it  gra- 
tuitously. This  was  done  and  nearly  two  hundred  of 
the  little  books  were  sold  at  the  tables.  I  send  you  a 
copy  for  the  children,  whirh  they  will  read  with  interest 
because  you  can  assure  them  of  its  truth.  Dear  Kate ! 
I  trust  the  perusal  of  her  short  experience  may  be 
blessed  to  many. 

"  Husband  is  in  better  health  than  when  we  saw  you, 
and  joins  me  in  love  to  yourself,  Mr.  B.,  and  the  chil- 
dren. Tell  the  latter  that  Uncle  Bacon  wishes  to  know 
if  their  lamb  has  lived  through  this  cold  winter.  Write 
soon,  dearest,  and  tell  us  of  your  welfare. 
"  Your  ever  affectionate, 

"  L.  B.  Bacon." 

BIOGRAniY   OF   MRS.    LYDIA   B.    BACON.  305 

To  Mrs.  S 

''February  IG,  1852. 

"  I  acknowledge,  my  dear that  I  am  a  misera- 
ble correspondent  both  as  to  the  matter  and  frequency 
of  my  epistles.  For  this  there  are  several  reasons.  One 
is  that  A writes  you  often  and  keeps  you  well  in- 
formed of  all  the  news  in  our  family  and  place.  Then 
we  have  such  frequent  communications  through  our 
mutual  friends  that  it  leaves  me  little  worth  commit- 
ting to  paper;  and  lastly,  it  tires  me  to  w^rite  much,  and 
I  do  not  like  to  do  it  often.  I  hope  this  will  find  you 
well,  as  I  hear  you  have  been  favored  in  this  respict 
since  your  return.  How  delightful  it  must  have  been 
to  you,  after  your  journeyings,  to  be  seated  once  more  in 
your  own  snug  domicil  wi:h  all  your  wants  supplied, 
and  your  good  children  and  friends  evincing  their 
pleasure  at  vour  return  by  numberless  acts  of  kindness. 
How  sweet,  how  refreshing  to  our  spirits  are  such  man- 
ifestations, especially  when  we  can  receive  th^m  (as  I 
know  you  do,)  as  coming  from  the  hand  of  our  heavenly 
Father.  Yes,  you  and  I  can  both  speak  of  and  praise 
the  goodness  of  God  through  our  long  and  changeful 
lives.  Even  our  crosses — and  I  don't  compare  mine 
with  yours,  though  I  have  had  those  that  tried  both 
faith  and  patience — even  these  have  been  blessings  in  In  that  blessed  land  whither  we  hoi)e  to  go, 
we  shall  know  the  reasons  for  each  afflictive  dispensa- 
tion ;  and  shall  bless  our  covenant-keeping  God  lor  all 
the  trials  we  have  experienced  lure.  Let  usj  then  exer- 
cise a  living  faith  in  him  ;  appiopiiating  the  righteous- 
ness of  Christ  as  our  only  jusiitication,  and  receiving 
pardon  and  salvation  through  his  atoning  blood.  AVe 


cannot  fathom  either  his  wisdom  or  his  love ;  hntwe  can 
trust  him,  and  this  is  required  at  our  hands. 

"  1  have  been  very  sick  lately,  more  so  than  since  I 
have  lived  in  Chelsea ;  but  am  now  slowly  mending.  It 
is  five  weeks  since  I  have  been  out ;  and  during  all  this 
time  I  have  not  been  able  to  see  my  poor  sailors,  though 
I  know  all  about  them.  I  do  love  to  go  in  and  visit 
them  and  try  to  do  them  good.  Two  missionaries  visit 
them  evi'ry  week,  and  converse,  pray,  and  distribute 
tracts  among  them.  Thus  their  souls  and  bodies  are 
still  cared  for.         *         *         ^^         ^         ^         * 

"Is  it  not  cheering  after  so  long  a  withholding  of 
the  blessed  Spirit,  to  read  in  almost  every  paper  that  it 
is  being  poured  out  in  copious  effusions  in  various  pla- 
ces? The  great  cities  are  not  passed  by.  The  Bap- 
tists in  Boston  and  here  also  arc  sharing  largely  in  this 
blessing.  We  have  had  a  mercy  drop  or  two,  which  I 
hope  may  be  the  precursor  of  a  plentiful  shower  of  di- 
vine grace.  Our  sister  church  at  Broadway  has  settled 
a  pastor.  He  appears  to  be  a  godly,  devoted  man,  and 
we  hope  his  labors  may  be  blessed.  We  need  the  Spirit 
of  Gud  to  be  poured  out  upon  these  churches,  that  both 
our  houses  may  be  filled  with  devout  worshipers.  Our 
new  church  will  be  finished  the  last  of  March.  We  find 
we  were  not  too  hasty  (as  some  feared)  in  dividing  and 
erecting  another  church  edifice;  for  one  would  not  hold 
both  our  congregations  even  now;  and  several  are  wait- 
ing for  the  new  church  to  be  finished  to  locate  with  us. 
Pray  for  us — and  remember  us  afR-ctionately  to  all 
friends.  Yours  in  love, 

«*Lydia  B.  Bacon." 

BIOGRAPHY   OF   MRS.    LYDIA   B.    BACON.  307 

To  Mrs.  B. 

''  Marcli,  1852. 

"  I  cannot  express  to  you,  my  beloved  E ,  what  a 

comfort  your  letters  arc  to  me.  It  fills  my  heart  witli 
gratitude  to  our  heavenly  Father,  that  though  he  has 
seen  fit  to  withhold  the  blessing  of  children  from  us, 
yet  we  have  those  who  love  us  like  children,  and  to 
whom  we  feel  an  affection  almost  parental. 

"  I  do  rejoice  that  your  dear  mother  has  so  much 
satisfaction  in  her  girls.  I  say  girls,  particularly  ; 
because  however  loving,  obedient  and  moral  her  sons 
may  be,  yet  the  thought  that  none  of  them  are  the  fol- 
lowers of  Christ  must  cause  her  many  a  sad  and  anx- 
ious hour.  I  sincerely  sympathize  with  you,  my 
precious  child,  in  the  removal  of  that  loved  grand- 
mother ;  and  also  in  your  disappointment  at  not  behold- 
ing her  face,  though  shrouded  in  death.  It  was  hard 
to  bear,  but  it  was  right:  God  afflicts  us  only  for  our 
good.  Has  not  this  been  our  experience  in  past  trials? 
From  your  youth,  God  has  been  your  refuge,  and  he 
will  never  forsake  those  who  rely  upon  him.  Oh,  how 
full  the  Book  of  books  is  of  promises  to  those  who 
trust  And  are  not  these  promises  all  yea  and  ameu  in 
Christ  Jesus  ? 

"  I  feel  PTateful  that  I  had  the  satisfaction  of  see- 
ing  my  dear  old  friend    once   more    before    her  exit. 

Dear  E ,  I  don't  bidieve  you  know  hotv  much  reason 

I  have  to  love  your  grandmother.  I  cannot  think  of 
the  past  without  a  burst  of  emotion:  'memory  swells 
with  many  a  proof  of  recollected  love.'  Your  mother 
must  feel  her  loss  most  sensibly :  what  a  parent  she  has 
been  to  her.     Although  she  cau,  and  will  accj[uiesce  in 

308  BIOGRAPHY   OF   MRS.    LYDIA   B.    BACOX. 

the  dealings  of  her  heavenly  Father  *  who  doeth  all 
things  well,'  yet  the  vacancy  can  never  be  filled.  I 
say  this  from  experience.  I  think  your  dear  mother 
will  have  to  vieit  her  daughters  often,  now  that  the  tie 
which  so  long  kept  her  at  home  is  removed,  and  she  has 
no  young  children  to  claim  her  attention.  Your  meet- 
ing, as  a  family  after  this  bereavement  must  have  been 
sadly  sweet.  I  remember  after  we  laid  my  dear  mother 
in  her  last  resting-place,  how  precious  it  was  to  talk 
together  of  her  virtues  and  worth — how  soothing  to 
speak  of  her  love  to  the  Saviour,  and  her  trust  in 
him.  How  the  sting  of  such  a  loss  is  extracted  by  the 
assurance  that  all  is  well  with  the  departed.  Three  of 
our  dear  old  friends  from  Sackett's  have  left  us  since 
the  commencement  of  the  year,  your  grandmother, 
Mrs.  Buchanan,  and  Mr.  T.  Osgood.  The  latter  was  a 
blessed  man.  Like  his  divine  Master,  he  went  about 
doing  good  ;  many  of  my  most  delightful  associations 
are  connected  with  his  memory.  You  recollect,  no 
doubt,  his  vi^it  to  Sackett's  and  his  interest  in  the  Sab- 
bath School.  Our  first  books  for  that  school  wire  pro- 
cured by  him.  Sister  Buchanan,  too,  was  a  most 
interesting  woman.  Thus  they  drop  from  our  side,  one 
by  one  ;  may  we  be  as  well  prepared  when  our  summons 
shall  come. 

"  I  have  been  quite  sick  (since  1  wrote  you  last)  with 
the  prevailing  influenza,  attended  with  a  violent  cough, 
which  prostrated  me  exceedingly.  I  am  now  slowly 
recoverino'  and  able  to  2:0  out  when  the  weather  is 
pleasant.  I  have  not  been  to  meeting  but  once  bince 
the  tenth  of  January.  Such  a  cuniinement  from  the 
house  of  God,  has  not  happened  to  me  le.ore  in  fifteen 


years.  Yet  I  must  say  that  tliis  time  of  retirement  has 
been  sweet  to  me.  I  have  been  (since  the  first  three 
weeks  of  my  illness)  able  to  read,  write,  and  sew  some ; 
and  have  enjoyed  such  a  season  of  quiet  meditation  as 
I  never  had  before.  My  mind  has  dwelt  much  upon 
the  past — the  Lord's  dealings  with  me,  the  friends  that 
he  has  blessed  me  with,  their  continued  kindness,  and 
unchanging  regard  to  one  so  unworthy.  But  most 
have  I  thought  upon  God's  great  mercy  in  leading  me 
to  trust  in  the  precious  Saviour ;  though  I  do  not  forget 
his  kindness  in  providing  for  so  long  a  time  such  a  com- 
fortable home  for  my  advancing  age.  Oh,  his  goodness 
is  unspeakable  !  Your  letter,  dear  E ,  was  charm- 
ing. I  was  glad  to  find  that  your  opinion  of  '  Wide, 
-wide  world,'  coincided  so  exactly  with  mine.  It  is  said 
there  is  to  be  a  sequel — I  hope  it  may  be  equally  good. 
One  of  the  most  exciting  scenes,  I  think,  was  Ellen's 
encounter  w^ith  that  wicked  man,  when  she  was  on 
horseback.  That  was  so  horridly  teasing:  but  the 
mean  fellow  must  have  looked  well  lying  in  the  mud. 
"Well — it  is  hard  to  keep  the  rush  light  burning ;  do  not 
we,  though  children  of  a  larger  growth,  find  it  so? 
The  divine  injunction  'watch,'  seems  constantly  sound- 
ing in  my  ears — Oh,  may  I  heed  it,  and  *  watch  unto 

*'  Uncle  Bacon  sends  love  and  kisses  to  the  dear 
children ;  and  is  very  glad  to  hear  their  lamb,  [it  must 
be  a  sheep  now]  is  well  and  continues  to  bo  a  comfort 
to  them.  They  must  have  had  a  nice  time  coasting  as 
we  call  it  here.  There  has  been  a  sufficiency  of  ice 
and  snow  this  winter,  and  the  boys  and  girls  have 
enjoyed  it  well.     I  am  glad  you  approve  of  this  kind  of 

310  BIOGRAPHY   OF   MRS.    LYDIA   B.    BACON. 

exercise  even  for  ^irls :  it  is  healthy  and  invigorating. 
If  well  clad,  children  need  not  fear  the  cold.  It  was 
one  of  my  favorite  amusements  when  a  child  to  play  in 
the  snow. 

*'  Many  thanks  for  your  pressing  invitation,  and  that 
of  your  little  ones,  to  visit  you  and  them  the  coming 
summer.  Nothing  could  give  us  more  pleasure :  but, 
we  cannot  indulge  so  soon  again  in  such  a  luxury. 
Cannot  you  come  to  us  and  bring  the  dear  children  ? 
They  would  return  to  tlieir  beautiful  retreat  with 
renewed  pleasure.  We  feel  very  sorry  to  hear  your 
sister  S ,  is  so  feeble.  She  is  being  tried  and  puri- 
fied for  that  better  world,  wdiose  inhabitants  never  say 
'  I  am  sick.'  Eemember  me  to  her,  and  to  all  your 
sisters  when  you  write. 

"  I  have  been  reading  a  little  book  called  '  Sunny 
Side.'  It  is  a  small  volume  ;  but  I  send  you  a  copy,  of 
which  I  beg  your  acceptance,  and  hope  you  will  enjoy  it 
as  w^ell  as  I  have. 

''  D.av  E ,  I  have  written  a  long  letter,  but  it 

has  been  wdth  some  tribulation,  as  it  hurts  me  not  a 
little  to  write.     Adieu,  my  beloved. 

"  From  your  affectionate, 

"  L.  B.  Bacon.'' 

To  Mrs.  H.  B. 

''  April  bth,  1852. 
"  My  very  dear  sister: — Your  letters  are  a  precious 
solace  to  me.  The  last  one  found  me  just  recovering 
from  the  influenza,  a  severe  attack  of  wdiich  has  con- 
fined me  to  the  house  most  of  the  time  since  January. 
It  was  accompanied  by  a  violent  cough  which  caused 

EIOGRArnY   OF   MRS.    LYDIA   B.    BACON.  311 

great  wealviiess,  and  the  weather  has  been  unusually 
cold  and  stormy,  especially  upon  the  Sahbath,  so  that  it 
was  not  thought  prudent  for  mc  to  venture  out.  Our 
new  ehureli  is  finished,  and  the  dedication  took  place 
last  Wednesday  evening.  I  felt  as  if  I  must  go  :  so  we 
sent  for  a  close  carriage,  and  I  have  felt  no  inconveni- 
ence from  the  exposure.  The  services  were  very  appro- 
priate and  impressive.  Our  good  pastor  preached  a 
most  excellent  sermon  from  these  words  in  Isaiah  GOth, 
7th :  '  I  will  glorify  the  house  of  my  glory.'  The 
good  minister  from  our  sister  church  was  present,  and 
took  part  in  the  exercises. 

"  The  music  was  performed  by  our  own  choir,  and 
was  very  satisfactory  to  the  audience.  Our  house  is 
neat  and  symmetrical,  and  will  seat  one  thousand  per- 
sons. We  have  a  very  fine  organ  and  select  choir,  with 
one  of  the  best  choristers  in  the  world.  The  church  is 
carpeted  and  cushioned,  mostly  by  the  efforts  of  the 
ladies.  It  is  to  be  lighted  with  gas  ;  and  warmed  by 
furnaces  of  course.  We  find  our  three  vestries  very 
convenient.  I  believe  I  gave  you  an  account  of  the 
manner  in  which  they  were  connected  by  folding  doors. 
But  I  did  not  tell  you  as  I  should  have  done,  that  they 
are  all  thrown  open  for  the  Sabbath  school  exercises 
every  Sabbath,  one  of  them  being  specially  devoted  to 
the  infant  department.  We  have  had  a  few  hopeful 
conversions,  and  a  very  few  are  inquiring  the  way  to 
Zion.  Oh,  how  much  we  need  an  abundant  shower 
of  divine  grace.  Do  unite  with  me,  dear  sister,  in 
prayivg  for  such  a  blessing  :  zve  hioiv  hy  happy  experi- 
ence that  our  God  hears  and  aimvtrs  prayer.  Though 
the  blessing  tarry,  yet  it  will  assuredly  come. 


"  I  have  mucli  to  be  thankful  for,  in  being  once  more 
able  to  resume  my  customary  duties.  For  many  weeks, 
I  was  unable  to  visit  my  poor  sailors,  the  state  of  my 
lungs  forbidding  me  to  talk  much.  This  and  my  ina- 
bility to  attend  church  were  great  deprivations.  But 
my  sickness  was  after  all  a  pleasant  one,  and  I  was  sur- 
rounded with  mercies  innumerable.  Among  them  were 
a  kind  husband  and  niece  to  anticipate  my  wants,  the 
sympathy  of  my  Christian  friends,  and  a  resigned 
spirit  to  my  heavenly  Father's  will — all  the  gift  of 
him  in  whom  I  live,  and  move,  and  have  my  being. 
What  could  I  ask  more  ?  Now  in  pleasant  weather,  I 
am  able  to  walk  out  on  God's  footstool  to  breathe  his 
air,  and  go  to  his  house  with  those  who  love  to  keep 
holy  day.  '  Bless  the  Lord,  oh  my  soul,  and  all  that  is 
within  me  bless  his  holy  name.' 

"  You  speak,  dear  H ,  of  our  long  tried  friend- 
ship. Very  sweet  indeed  has  it  been  to  me  :  and  I 
count  my  intercourse  with  your  dear  family,  one  of  the 
greatest  blessings  of  my  life.  Your  dear  Harriet  too, 
and  her  little  one  and  her  good  husband,  we  feel  a 
lively  interest  in.  We  hope  to  hear  that  a  more  conge- 
nial clime  has  restored  the  health  of  the  latter,  that 
your  dear  family  circle  may  not  be  broken  at  present. 
Do  remember  us  most  affectionately  to  the  doctor,  and 
assure  him  of  our  sympathy  in  his  long  continued 
illness.  We  think  and  speak  of  you  all  more  than  ever 
since  we  were  with  you  :  that  delightful  visit  revived  so 
many  tender  recollections.  What  a  life  ours  has  been : 
it  seems  as  if  we  had  more  cause  for  gratitude  to  God, 
and  to  our  friends,  than  any  one  ever  had.     Oh,  for  a 

BIOGRAPHY   OF   MUS.   LYDIA   B.    BACON.  313 

heart  to  love  and  serve  tliat  Llesscd  Being',  wlio  lias  so 
cared  for  sucli  unwortliy  creatures. 

"  Dear  E.  B.  informed  us  of  her  grandinother'3 
death,  and  also  that  you  did  not  allow  a  stranger*s 
hand  to  perform  the  last  sad  offices  for  that  blessed 
woman.  How  lonely  that  house  must  seem  without 
one  whose  life  was  so  blended  with  every  scene  of  joj 
or  sorrow  witnessed  there.  Her  death  is  the  third 
among  those  dear  old  valued  frienJs  since  this  year 
began.  With  those  thiee  are  associated  some  of  the 
happiest  moments  of  my  pilgrimage  :  how  sweet  is 
their  memory  still. 

*'  Do  not  fail  to  write  soon  and  tell  us  about  the  doc- 
tor. We  are  grieved  at  his  protracted  illness  :  but  glad 
that  he  is  so  resigned  to  his  heavenly  Father's  will, 
and  can  cheerfully  await  the  issue,  whether  it  be  life, 
or  death.  Our  kindest  thoughts  and  prayers  attend 
you  all.  With  love^  to  yourself  and  dear  ones. 
"  I  remain  as  ever,  Yours  truly, 

"  L.  B.  Bacon.'' 

To  Mrs.  B . 

''June2dtJi,  1852. 

"  You  can  never  know,  my  loved  Elizabeth,  what  a 
treasure  your  letters  are  to  me.  Indeed,  I  should  have 
said  to  us,  for  husband  and  Anna  enjoy  them  very  much. 
Still,  they  cannot  feel  as  I  do  towards  you  who  have 
been  the  child  of  my  afPoctions  from  your  earliest  youth. 
I  had  become  quite  anxious  at  vour  delay  in  writing, 
and  was  daily  looking  and  hoping  for  a  letter,  when  A. 
came  to  my  room,  with  a  beaming  face,  and  handed  me 
your  welcome  epistle.  From  your  long  silence,  I  had 

314  BIOGRAPHY   OF   MRS.    LYDIA   B.   BACON. 

feared  that  you  were  in  trouble,  and  so  it  proved.  Your 
heavenly  Father  has  again  tried  you  in  the  furnace  of 
affliction.  But  blessed  be  his  name  that  he  has  gra- 
ciously delivered  you,  giving  back  that  precious  life,  so 
important  to  the  earthly  comfort  of  yourself  and  chil- 
dren and  friends.  I  feel  that  this  new  instance  of  God's 
goodness  to  you  in  sparing  your  beloved,  will  renew  your 
gratitude  and  devotion  to  your  Divine  Benefactor.  May 
it  lead  you  to  a  closer  walk  with  Him  and  more  entire 
reliance  on  that  Almighty  arm  which  is  promised  to 
deliver  all  who  put  their  trust  in  Him. 

''  This  season  of  the  year  brings  with  increased  fresh- 
ness the  memory  of  our  very  pleasant  journey  and  visit 
to  yourself  and  other  friends.  Our  recollections  of  it 
are  delightful — all  your  kindness  and  attention,  the 
sweet  seasons  by  the  beautiful  lake  with  those  darling 
children — all  rest  upon  my  mind  as  if  it  were  but  yes- 
terday. A  year  has  fled  most  rapidly  since  then.  How 
many  have  passed  to  the  spirit-land  while  we  are 
spared  ! 

As  I  sit  in  my  pleasant  room,  the  prospect  never 
seemed  more  charming  than  at  present.  The  flowers 
are  in  full  bloom,  and  the  vegetable  and  fruit  gardens 
are  yielding  and  promising  most  abundantly.  But  as  I 
gaze  beyond  them,  mementos  of  death  greet  my  eye — 
the  colors  at  half  mast  on  the  steamboats,  the  shipping 
at  anchor,  and  the  State  House  all  proclaim  that  a  great 
and  honorable  one  has  fallen.  Henry  Clay  Avas  one  of 
the  Union's  most  cherished  sons.  His  mind  was  clear 
and  vigorous  to  the  last ;  and  he  was  a  firm  believer  in 
that  blessed  Being  who  gave  him  such  a  giant  intellect 
to  use  for  his  country's  good.     He  fell  asleep  with  a 

BIOGRAPHY   OF   MRS.    LYDIA   B.    BACON.  315 

sweet,  confiding  trust  in  liis  Eedcemer,  and,  we  will 
hope,  is  now  among  tlic  happy  throng  who,  with  deep 
hamilit}^  cast  their  crowns  at  a  Saviour's  feet. 

"  My  dear  Josiah  has  been  for  some  time  past  very 
unwell  with  dyspepsia.  It  has  troubled  him  somewhat 
ever  since  we  returned  from  our  visit  to  New  York 
State ;  but  he  is  now  rather  better,  and  I  hope  may 
recover  fully,  and  enjoy  his  usual  health.  My  own  is 
much  better  than  when  I  wrote  you  last.  I  trust  I  am 
thankful  for  this,  as  it  needs  vigor  of  body  and  mind 
to  fill  our  present  sphere  of  action  usefully.  We  do  not 
feel  hardly  able  to  lay  by  the  oar  yet;  but  all  tliis  we 
leave  witli  Him  who  has  sustained  us  in  our  youth  and 
will  not  forsake  us  in  our  old  age. 

"  Husband  is  very  much  interested  at  present  in  a 
new  institution  for  sailors  which  is  just  being  estab- 
lished. It  is  to  be  called  the  Snug  Harbor,  and  is 
desio-ned  for  those  seamen  who  are  worn  out  with  toilino: 
fur  others'  luxuries,  and  have  no  money,  and  no  home 
where  they  may  rest  their  weary  heads.  Here  they  are  to 
have  their  souls  as  well  as  bodies  cared  for  and  minis- 
tered unto.  We  think  this  subject  ought  to  make  a 
strong  appeal  to  all,  but  especially  to  those  who  have 
2:rown  rich  throuo-h  the  hard  toil  of  the  sons  of  the 
ocean.  This  society  has  been  incorporated,  and  its 
officers  are  now  taking  preliminary  steps  for  the  collec- 
tion of  funds  and  the  purchase  of  a  location.  The 
location  which  they  have  in  view  is  very  delightful,  being 
about  eleven  miles  fn.m  Boston,  and  easily  accessible 
both  by  huul  and  water.  They  wish  Mr.  Bacon  to  take 
the  superintendence ;  but  we  are  too  old  to  take  the 
laboring  oar  in  such  an  establishment;  then  we  are  as 


useful  here  as  -^^e  could  be  any  where  ;  and  when  we  leave 
this  situation  it  must  be  for  one  of  retirement.  AVere 
we  thirty  years  younger,  nothing  would  delight  us  more. 
But,  although  we  do  not  desire  to  rust  out,  yet  we  do 
not  feel  so  well  able  to  labor  as  we  once  did.  We  have 
almost  attained  the  age  allotted  to  man,  yet  we  are 
thankful  that  we  are  still  able  to  do  something.  '  Surely 
goodness  and  mercy  have  followed  us  all  our  days.' 

"  You,  as  a  family,  are  highly  favored  in  being  per- 
mitted to  meet  once  more,  and  have  the  last  fledged 

one    return  to  you  in  safety.     How  does   H like 

her  new  abode?  No  doubt  it  is  a  pleasant  one;  but 
methinks  I  hear  her  say, '  Sackett's,  "With  all  thy  faults, 
I  love  tbee  still/' ' 

"  We  are  sorry  to  hear  so  sad  an  account  of  the  health 

of   our  dear  friend.  Dr.  H ,  though  we  feared  it 

would  be  so.  When  a  person  is  so  low  with  consumption 
that  his  medical  advisers  recommend  another  clime,  I 
never  expect  any  permanent  improvement.  I  am  daily 
expecting  to  hear  from  him  through  my  beloved  Mrs. 
B.  We  do  sympathize  with  them.  He  has  so  much 
to  render  life  desirable,  and  his  great  usefulness  at 
Sackett's,  together  with  their  need  of  him  there,  would 
seem  to  make  his  removal  a  mysterious  providence,  hard 
to  be  understood.  Yet,  even  with  so  much  to  keep  us 
here,  how  much  more  desirable  is  heaven.  Oh,  dear 
E.,  do  you  not  sometimes  get  a  glimpse  of  that  glorious 

'  Whose  precincts  sin  and  sorrow  ne'er  invade '  ? 

"T  am  glad  you  were  pleased  with  <  Sunny  Side.'     I 
have  just  read  '  Queechy.'     It  is  an  interesting  work, 

BIOGRAPHY   OF   MRS.   LYDIA   B.    BACON.  317 

but  more  of  a  novel  than  I  supposed.  It  is  not  so  docid- 
edlj  religious  as  'AVide,  Wide  World,'  but  may  please 
the  multitude  more.  I  do  not  think  'Fleda'  quite  so 
natural  a  character  as  *  KUen  Montgomery.'  She  is  a 
little  too  perfect.  It  cost  '  Ellen '  something  to  keep 
her  *  rush-lio-ht '  burnino;.  I  think  the  authoress  a  fine 
writer,  and  her  style  at  once  chaste  and  refined. 

"We  have  had  some  religious  interest  in  both  our 
churches,  but  no  special  revival.  The  Broadway  church 
has  been  fitted  up  very  neatly,  and  enclosed  with  an  iron 
fence.  They  have  a  most  excellent  minister  whom  they 
love  very  much.     ^     ^'^     ^     *     "'     "' 

"Do,  dear  E.,  write  soon  to  your  attached  friend, 

"  L.  B.  Bacon.'' 

To  Mrs.  B r. 

''  S^pt  10,  1852. 
"  Tily  dear  sister  H. : — It  is  an  unspeakable  comfort 
to  have  such  a  friend  as  you  have  ever  been  to  me. 
You  have  responded  with  ready  sympathy  to  all  the 
varied  phases  of  my  life,  both  in  joy  and  sorrow.  Need 
I  assure  you  that  your  kind  feelings  are  fully  recipro- 
cated ?  We  think  much  of  you  all.  and  especially  of 
your  dear  invalid  (Dr.  H.),  in  his  debility  and  suffering. 
We  do  pray  that  you  may  all  be  supported  under  this 
heavy  trial  and  impending  blow  with  that  Almighty 
grace  which  alone  can  bo  suflncient  for  a  time  like  this. 
We  know  the  aged  must  die  ;  but  when  death  sets  his 
mark  on  those  in  the  prime  of  life,  with  every  requisite 
for  usefulness,  we  are  very  apt  to  ask,  Why  is  it?  The 
Christian  has  this  consolation  (and  it  is  his  alone), 
God  is  his  father  and  friend,  and  will  afflict  him  only 


for  his   gcocl.     'Whose  God    is   like  unto  our  God?' 
Blessed  thought. 

**I  should  have  written  you  sooner,  dear  H.,  but 
I  too  have  been  called  to  wait  upon  a  sick  husband. 
Hoping  that  I  should  be  able  to  say  he  had  entirely 
recovered,  and  having  much  to  do  in  addition  to  my 
usual  duties,  I  have  deferred  answering  your  affection- 
ate and  interesting  epistle  until  I  can  no  longer  suffer 
you  to  think  me  so  indifferent  to  your  welfare.  I  want 
very  much  to  hear  from  the  Dr.,  and  so  concluded  to 
write,  although  I  cannot  tell  you  as  I  hoped  that  my 
dear  Josiah  is  restored  to  health.  He  is  better,  however, 
though  still  extremely  feeble.  He  has  not  been  well 
since  our  return  from  your  house  last  summer.  He  was 
troubled  some  with  dyspepsia,  and  became  very  sensitive 
to  cold,  and  at  length  had  somethino;  of  a  cou^h.  All 
this  has  gradually  undermined  his  strength  and  dimin- 
ished his  fli'sh,  until  now  he  is  only  the  shadow  of  his 
former  self.  In  July  we  went  to  Centre  Harbor  solely 
on  his  account,  hoping  a  change  of  air  might  be  a  ben- 
efit, as  the  Dr.  said  his  lungs  were  not  materially 
affected.  But  he  returned  more  feeble  than  he  went. 
All  this  time  he  was  trying  to  do  all  his  business  as  ever, 
without  calling  a  physician.  At  length  he  was  obliged 
to  consult  one,  who  found  him  with  rapid  pulse  and  hot 
skin,  and  symptoms  of  inflammation  on  the  liver.  The 
medicines  administered  acted  promptly  on  the  system, 
and  produced  so  salutary  an  effect  that  we  hoped  his 
recovery  would  be  speedy  and  sure.  But,  contrary  to 
our  expectations,  he  still  continues  very  weak,  and  his 
appetit-  does  not  rally  at  all.  The  hot  weather  is  very 
trying  to  him.     When  he  was  in  health  it  troubled  him 

BIOGRAniY   OF   MRS.    LYDIA   B.    BACOX.  319 

exccodinglj,  and  mucli  more  now  lie  is  so  feeble.  He 
feels  so  much  better  in  a  cool  day  that  we  are  encouraged 
to  hope  the  advancing  cool  weather  may  be  favorable  to 
him.  But  he  has  lost  thirty  pounds  of  flesh  in  a  few 
weeks  !  Oh,  I  cannot  describe  my  feelings  when  I  look 
at  the  luisband  of  my  youth,  and  see  him  so  altered. 
That  strong  arm  on  which  I  used  to  lean  with  so  much 
confidence,  is  now  so  lueak  that  it  makes  my  heart  ache. 
You  know,  dear  sister,  that  few  men  have  been  blessed 
with  such  uniform  health  through  a  long  life  as  lie  has, 
and  this  makes  the  contrast  with  his  present  debility 
more  apparent.  It  should  make  us  more  reconciled  to 
this  sickness  when  we  consider  how  many  years  we  have 
both  been  favored  beyond  others.  Oh,  how  blest  have 
we  been  in  being  able  to  wait  upon  God  so  long  in  his 
house.  Thirty  years  we  have  been  communicants,  and, 
if  my  memory  serves  me  rightly,  husband  has  never 
been  absent  from  the  table  of  our  Lord  but  twice. 
Twelve  years  we  have  sojourned  in  this  place,  and  last 
Sabbath  was  the  first  communion  season  that  he  was 
absent  from  his  post.  I,  too,  have  been  absent  at  such 
a  time  but  twice  or  thrice,  and  in  this  place  never. 
Surely  tliis  is  evidence  of  the  loving  kindness  of  our 
God  toward  us:  it  is  on  this  account  solely  that  I  men- 
tion it.  Thus  have  we  b^en  favored  above  many  who 
were  much  more  deserving- ;  and  shall  we  not  then  be  sub- 
missive  under  our  present  aftliction,  and  bless  the  Hand 
that  smites  so  gently  ?  We  have  neared  the  time  allot- 
ted to  man  in  iliis  world.  Having  a  humbh'  hope  that 
we  are  accepted  in  the  Beloved,  and  our  sins  washed 
away  in  his  precious  blood,  should  we  not  be  ready  to 
depart  ?     True,  we  are  surrounded  with  blessings  and 


privileges  ;  yet  how  much  botter  is  heaven  than  earth. 
There  we  shall  feel  no  weariness  in  serving  our  Saviour  ; 
and,  what  is  more  precious  to  me,  there  we  shall  serve 
him  without  sin. 

We  are   rejoiced  to  know  that  our  dear  11 and 

her  husband  are  so  well  sustained  under  their  great 
affliction.  The  promises  of  God  are  yea  and  amen  to 
those  who  trust  him.     We  are  glad  to  learn  that  Mrs. 

is  better,   and   that   Mr. 's    preaching   is   so 

acceptable.  You  say  '  no  fruits  appear  as  yet/  I  -would 
ask,  have  Christians  prayed  in  faith  for  such  a  blessing? 
Unless  they  do,  they  must  not  expect  it.  We  have 
additions  every  communion  season  to  our  number,  mostly 
from  amono;  the  youno\  We  should  no  doubt  have 
more,  were  we  as  a  church  more  prayerful  and  less  worldly- 
minded.  We,  too,  need  the  s})irit  in  our  midst,  without 
which  Paul  may  plant  and  A  polios  water  in  vain.  Do 
remember  us  at  a  throne  of  grace. 

''  ]\Irs.  B d  gave  me  an  account  of  her  husband^s 

sickness  :  it  must  have  been  distressing  indeed.  We 
are  thankful  that  his  valuable  life  has  been  spared. 
May  he  be  long  continued  a  blessing  to  all  with  whom 
he  is  connected. 

"  And  now,  dear  sister,  pray  for  us  (as  we  do  for  you), 
that  we  may  be  prepared  for  all  that  awaits  us,  and 
may,  witli  sweet  submission  and  holy  patience,  abide 
God's  will.  With  fervent  prayer  that  you  and  we  may 
be  divinely  directed  and  su[)por:ed,  I  remain  as  ever 
"  Your  affectionate  and  sympathizing 

"L.  B.  Bacon.'' 

BIOGRAPHY   OF   MRS.    LYDIA   B.    BACON.  321 

The  Lope  of  her  liiisl^ancVs  recovery,  -wlncli  ]\lrs.  Ba- 
con expressed  to  her  friend  in  the  letter  just  given,  was 
not  to  be  realized.  Disease  had  taken  firm  hold,  and 
neither  the  fondest  love,  the  most  nntiring  care,  or  the 
best  medical  skill  could  arrest  its  progress.  For  two  or 
three  weeks  after  the  preceding  letter  was  written,  hopes 
and  fears  alternately  predominated  as  to  the  issue  of  his 
sickness.  His  loving  companion,  whose  sanguine  tem- 
perament always  led  her  to  look  upon  the  bright  side, 
maintained  a  cheerful  courage,  and  was  hopeful  of  his 
recovery  almost  to  the  last.  Indeed,  he  was  not  confined 
to  his  bed  more  than  a  week,  and  less  than  a  month  had 
elapsed  from  the  date  of  Mrs.  B's  last  communication 
ere  she  was  tasting  the  bitterness  of  a  great  bereave- 
ment. Her  husband  died  on  the  first  Sabbath  in  Octo- 
ber, aged  sixty-seven  years  and  nine  months.  On 
AVednesday,  Oct.  6th,  his  funeral  was  attended  in  the 
Chestnut  st.  church,  where  a  solemn  and  impressive 
discourse  was  delivered  by  his  pastor,  from  these  words, 
"  Even  so  them  also  which  sleep  in  Jesus  will  God  bring 
with  him." 

A  few  passages  from  this  discourse  briefly  describing 
the  closing  scene  will  here  be  given.  "  He  received  the 
announcement  that  he  must  die  without  a  change  of  ex- 
pression or  a  word  of  regret."  "  The  first  time  I  saw 
him  after  he  had  taken  his  bed  and  all  hope  of  his 
recovery  was  past,  he  took  my  hand  and  with  an 
expressive  tear  trickling  down  his  cheek  said,  '  the  will 
of  the  Lord  be  done.'  My  judgment  responded  '  so  let 
it  be,'  but  my  heart  cried  out,  '  if  it  be  possible,  let  this 
cup  pass.'  Eaised  in  his  bed  by  strong  men,  he  made 
his     last    mark    upon    his    quarterly    returns     forty- 

322         BioaPvAPUT  OF  mrs.  lydia  b.  baco:n'. 

eight  hours  before  his  death.  When  told  bj  his  brother 
that  all  was  right  with  respect  to  his  accounts,  like  a 
weary  soldier  when  the  battle  was  fought  and  the 
victory  won,  he  laid  himself  down  to  sleep.  Not 
another  word  about  business  escaped  his  lips.  All  was 
just  right ;  not  a  pain  too  much  ;  death  had  not  come 
too  soon  ;  his  work  was  done ;  all  was  peace.  Christ 
was  near  and  precious,  and  heaven  open  before  him. 
We  claim  not  for  our  friend  an  exemption  the 
frailties  whicli  belong  to  our  race.  He  saw  much  in  his 
past  life  to  regret ;  but  all  was  well,  because  an 
Almighty  Saviour,  in  whom  he  trusted,  had  undertaken 
on  his  behalf.  So  at  half-past  twelve  on  Sabbath  noon,  he 
entered  into  his  rest  without  a  straggle.  He  had  lived  the 
Christian  life,  and  his  death  was  that  of  the  Christian." 

The  foUowino;  are  amono;  the  words  of  comfort 
addressed   to  Mrs.  Bacon  by  her  sympathizing  pastor  •. 

"  The  bereaved  widow  will  find  consolatiou  both  in 
his  life  and  in  his  death.  She  was  his  playmate  in 
childhood,  his  firm  friend  in  riper  years,  his  companion 
in  the  camp  and  on  the  tented  field.  Nor  was  she  less 
his  companion  in  his  struggles  against  reigning  sin,  and 
his  conquests  through  heavenly  grace ;  in  his  church 
relations  at  Sackett's  Harbor  and  at  Sandwich  ;  and  in 
the  great  and  good  work  which  he  has  accomplished 
here,  both  for  seamen  and  f.r  this  church  and  communi- 
ty. And  now  she  may  be  cheered  vfith  the  hope  that 
this  separation  will  be  only  for  a  season.  This  passed, 
she  shall  join  her  beloved  in  a  companionship  which 
nothing  shall  mar  or  interrupt.  Christ  is  her  surety, 
God  is  her  husband,  and  the  bright  bow  of  promise 
spans    the    grave    where    this    precious   dust   shall  lie 

BIOGRArilY   OF   MRS.    LYDIA   B.    EACOX.  323 

'  Even  so  tlicm  also  wliicli  sleep  in  Jesus  will  God  Lring 
with  him.'  Let  her  then  in  this  sad  hour  say  to  her 
troubled  bosom,  '  peace,  be  stilL'  '  I  was  dumb ;  I 
opened  not  my  moutli,  because  thou  didst  it.'  " 

Meekly  did  our  afflicted  friend  bow  her  head  under 
this  bereaving  stroke.  Though  sorely  chastened  she 
was  not  overwhelmed,  and  instead  of  gloomily  poring 
over  this  heavy  trial  she  seemed  to  be  gratefully  re- 
viewing the  mercies  of  the  past.  The  language  both 
of  her  heart  and  lips  was,  "  Truly,  goodness  ar.d  mercy 
have  followed  me  all  my  days."  "  Shall  I  receive  good 
at  the  hand  of  the  Lord,  and  shall  I  not  receive  evil 
also  ?"  So  when  the  ''  precious  dust  "  of  her  beloved 
w^as  laid  in  the  beautiful  cemetery  at  "  Woodlawn,"  with 
touching  resignation  she  said,  "  Farewell — I  shall  go  to 
him,  but  he  will  not  return  to  me." 

The  aged  step-mother  of  Mr.  Bacon  had  survived 
him.  From  this  dear  kinswoman  Mrs.  Bacon  now 
received  a  most  touching  letter  of  condolence,  remarkable 
as  the  production  of  one  who  had  lived  beyond  the 
allotted  period  of  human  life.  Its  perusal  will  show 
that  she  had  not  outlived  her  sympathies,  or  the  useful 
exercise  of  her  mental  powers,  though  now  at  an  ad- 
vanced age.     It  is  dated 

''Portland,  Oct  10,  1852. 
*'  My  very  dear  daughter  Lydia : — Although  deeply 
afflicted  by  this  trying  bereavement,  I  thought  I  would 
write  you  a  few  lines,  hoping  they  will  find  you  sup- 
ported under  so  severe  a  trial  of  your  faith.  AVe  have 
all  experienced  a  sad  loss.     My  dear  child,  I  can  truly 

324  BIOGRAPHY   OF   MRS.    LYDIA   B.    BACO^^. 

sympatliize  with  3' ou  ;  '  lover  and  friend  Las  God  taken 
from  you/  But  I  trust  he  *  has  not  taken  his  loving 
kindness  from  you,  nor  suffered  his  faithfulness  to 
fail/  '  The  foundation  of  God  standeth  sure,  having 
this  seal,  the  Lord  knoweth  them  that  are  his.' 

"  The  last  time  I  saw  the  dear  departed,  he  looked 
changed  and  sick,  but  oh  !  to  me  so  like  his  dear  father, 
that  my  heart  yearned  towards  him  much.  Still  I 
hoped  he  would  recruit  a  little,  but  was  deceived  in  his 
case  as  in  that  of  my  son  AVilliam.  And  here  am  I 
like  the  old  stock  of  a  tree :  the  useful  branches  are 
cut  off,  and  I  am  still  left  standing.  Oh,  may  I  be  pre- 
pared to  meet  the  shaft  of  death  as  this  dear  departed 
one  has  done.  We  feel  a  sweet  confidence  that  through 
the  merits  of  a  precious  Saviour,  he  has  entered  upon 
'the  full  enjoyment  of  God  to  all  eternity.'  This  is  a 
consolation  which  no  words  can  describe. 

"  May  you,  my  dear,  be  filled  with  the  peaceable 
fruits  of  righteousness  by  the  Lord's  chastening  hand. 
For  God  is  able  not  only  to  uphold  the  soul,  but  also  to 
enable  it  to  rejoice  in  tribulation.  Dear  Lydia,  it  must 
be  a  very  trying  time  with  you  at  present.  I  hope 
your  health  will  not  suffer  on  account  of  the  various 
duties  you  may  have  to  perform ;  and  as  you  have  so 
many  good  and  kind  friends  to  help  take  the  burden  of 
care  from  you,  you  may  have  more  time  to  meditate  on 
God's  dealings  with  you.  From  place  to  place  the  Lord 
has  been  your  guide,  and  I  trust  will  be  *  until  you 
change  this  mortal  state  for  your  eternal  home.' 

"  My  dear  daughter,  may  this  poor  epistle  find  you 
like  Mary  sitting  at  the  feet  of  your  Saviour,  trusting 

BIOGRAPHY   OF   MllS.    LYDIA   B.    BACON.  325 

in  liis  finislied  rigliteoiisiicss  and  ransomed  Ly  liis 
precious  blood.  And  may  the  blessing  of  your  heaven- 
ly Father  be  with  you.     So  prays 

*'  Your  affectionate  motlier, 

"  Agnes  Bacon/' 

The  death  of  her  liusband,  of  course,  deprived  Mrs. 
Bacon  of  the  home  which  for  nearly  twelve  years  she 
had  enjoyed  and  beautified.  Another  Steward  must 
take  Mr.  Bacon's  place  at  the  hospital,  and  his  widow 
must  leave  the  spacious  and  airy  rooms,  every  one  of 
which  looked  out  upon  a  prospect  extensive  and  beauti- 
ful. Over  those  ample  windows  the  vines  which  she 
had  cultured  and  trained,  climbed  in  graceful  luxuri- 
ance, around  the  door  steps,  and  in  the  broad  window- 
sills  were  clustered  the  choice  plants  which  she  had 
raised  and  tended  like  household  pets.  Across  the 
graveled  walk,  lay  her  flower  garden  still  smiling  in 
the  remains  of  its  summer  beauty.  And  before  her 
danced  the  bright  blue  waves  beyond  whose  glistening 
summits  the  spires  of  the  city,  the  dome  of  the  capitol, 
and  Bunker  Hill's  gray  shaft  towered  to  the  sky. 

All  these  she  must  leave  to  the  care,  the  hand,  the 
eye  of  a  stranger.  Painfully  did  her  friends  anticipate 
her  sadness  at  such  a  parting.  But  they  were  mis- 
taken— "  none  of  these  things  moved"  her.  A  few 
natural  tears  she  shed,  indeed.  But  it  was  not  the  loss 
of  these  enjoyments  that  stirred  her  soul  to  its  depths  as 
she  contemplated  her  removal.  "I  can  leave  all 
these,"  she  said,  "  hut  how  can  I  glue  iip  my  poor 
sailors  ?  '^ 

The  little  property  which  her  husband  had  gathered 


from  the  savings  of  his  salary,  was  hequeathed  by  him 
to  the  "  Sailors'  Snug  Harbor,"  mentioned  in  these 
pages  as  about  to  be  established  in  the  neighborhood  of 
Boston.  For  (in  the  words  of  his  pastor  at  his  fune- 
ral) we  may  say,  "  he  loved  the  sailor.  Long  ago  he 
adopted  the  sons  of  the  ocean  as  his  children.  While 
he  lived,  he  ceased  not  to  labor  and  pray  for  their  tem- 
poral and  spiritual  good.  And  nearly  all  of  this 
world's  goods,  that  he  and  his  companion  by  economy 
and  industry  have  gathered  and  saved,  is  bequeathed 
for  their  benefit  when  she  shall  have  completed  her 

The  institution  which  Mr.  Bacon  thus  contributed  to 
endow  is  located  at  Quincy  Point ;  and  the  last  ride 
which  he  planned,  but  which  his  rapidly  failing  strength 
obliged  him  to  relinquish.,  was  to  that  place.  It  was 
Mrs.  Bacon's  wish  still  to  remain  in  Chelsea :  and  her 
principal  care  for  herself  was  to  secure  a  quiet  home  of 
easy  access  to  the  house  of  God,  where  she  and  her 
departed  had  worshiped.  "  I  know  not,"  said  she  to 
the  writer,  ''  where  to  look  for  a  boarding  place  ;  but  I 
mean  not  to  be  over  anxious.  I  have  committed  the 
matter  to  my  heavenly  Father,  and  I  feel  that  he  will 
provide."  The  next  time  I  saw  Mrs.  B.  she  exclaimed, 
with  a  smiling  face,  ''  the  Lord  has  taken  care  of  me 
and  has  provided  me  with  just  such  a  location  as  I 
wished.  Only  think,  it  is  in  Chestnut  street  just  oppo- 
site our  church,  and  in  a  nice  quiet  family.  Oh,  my 
friend,  it  is  good  to  trust  in  the  Lord.  He  has  never 
failed  me  ;  never  disappointed  my  confidence." 

The  bereaving  strokes  of  God's  providence  still  con- 
tinued to  afflict  our  friend  and  call  forth  her  sorrows  for 

BIOGrxAPIIY   OF   IMRS.    LYDIA   B.    BACOX.  327 

herself  and  licr  tendercst  s3'mpat]iio,s  for  others.  A 
beloved  niece  who  was  happily  married,  and  had  just 
gone  (accompanied  by  her  children  and  sister)  to  njoin 
her  husband  in  South  America,  was  speedily  called  to 
mourn  that  husband's  sudden  death.  Mrs.  Bacon 
learned  the  sad  news  while  on  a  visit  to  the  parents  of 
her  young  relative ;  and  immediately  addressed  to  her 
the  following  letter  of  condolence. 

'^  Brooldine,  Feb.  14,  1852. 
"  From  the  heading  of  this  letter,  my  dear  afflicted 
hiece  will  perceive  that  I  am  with  her  beloved  parents 
in  this  hour  of  trial.  I  came  to  make  them  a  little 
visit  in  their  and  my  loneliness,  but  little  did  I  antici- 
pate such  a  dreadful  blow  to  our  happiness.  To  my 
poor  heart,  it  is  like  putting  a  fresh  blister  on  one  not 
healed.  How  short-sighted  we  are !  How  often 
troubles  come  from  a  source  where  we  least  expected 
them.  Within  five  short  months,  death's  unerring 
shafts  have  laid  each  of  our  best  earthly  comforts  low. 
Dear,  precious  Sarah  !  What  shall  I  say  to  you  in  this 
hour  of  your  deep  distress?  I  cannot,  I  would  not  bid 
you  not  to  mourn.  This  you  cannot  refrain  from;  and 
I  have  too  recently  drank  the  bitter  cup  myself  to  be 
able  to  give  such  advice.  Mourn,  you  may,  sweet  child, 
bereaved  widow;  but  do  it  with  resignation  to  your 
heavenly  Father's  will,  who  has  assured  us  he  does  not 
willingly  afflict,  or  grieve  the  children  of  men.  We 
cannot  fathom  his  mysterious  providences  now,  but  the 
time  is  coming  when  we  shall  know  (what  we  are  assured 
of  now)  that  all  his  dealings  are  for  our  best  good. 
May   we    take  his  precious   promises,    and   with   deep 


humility  plead  them  at  the  foot  of  the  cross,  praying 
that  these  heart-rending  trials  may  be  sanctified  to  our 
soul's  eternal  ^Yelfare.  The  promises  of  God  are  yea 
and  alien  to  those  who  believe.  May  the  blessed  Bible 
so  full,  so  rich  in  them,  be  your  comfort  and  support; 
and  the  result  of  tliis  painful  dispensation  be  righteous- 
ness and  peace.  Thus  may  you  be  enabled  to  say  '  it 
is  o:ood  that  I  have  been  afflicted.' 

"  I  need  not  assure  you  how  deeply  we  all  sympathize 
with  you  :  not  only  your  own  dear  relatives,  but  your 
friends  and  acquaintance.  Several  have  called  already 
to  express  their  heartfelt  sympathy.  The  sad  event 
was  not  known  here  till  late  on  Saturday.  i\fter  church 
the  next  day,  your  pastor  called ;  and  closed  a  short 
conversation  by  offering  prayer,  in  which,  (I  trust)  we 
all  joined  with  chastened  and  believing  hearts.  Oh, 
how  tenderly  and  fervently  did  he  pray  for  the  widowed 
young  mother,  the  fatherless  children,  and  the  beloved 
sister  in  a  strano^e  land,  where  the  church-o;oino;  bell  is 
not  heard,  or  the  Christian  minister  found  to  impart 
consolation  in  such  a  time  of  need. 

"  Dear  S.,  many  prayers  are  offered  on  your  behalf: 
may  you  feel  their  blessed  effects  in  your  own  soul. 
May  you  be  quickened  and  strengthened  by  the  influ- 
ences of  the  Holy  Spirit,  and  find  that  relief  at  a  throne 
of  grace  which  is  the  result  of  the  prayer  of  faith.  How 
delightful  is  the  thought  amid  such  paucity  of  spiritual 
good  externally,  that  our  covenant-keeping  God  is  not 
cm  fined  to  time  or  place.  Whatever  place  we  make  our 
Bethel,  he  is  there.  I  trust,  dear  one,  that  you  will  look 
at  the  blessings  still  left  you,  and  though  these  will  not 
fill  the  sad  vacuum  in  your  heart,  yet  they  should  alle- 

BIOGRAPHY   OF   MRS.    LYDIA   B.    BACON.  329 

viate  your  sorrow,  and  I  feci  that  tlioy  will.  Still  the 
absence  of  the  lover  and  friend  of  our  youth  can  never 
he  fully  appreciated  but  by  those  who  experience  it.  In 
this  respect,  I  feel  competent  to  judge.  Oh,  the  desola- 
tion that  comes  over  me  at  times,  let  me  be  where  I 
will.  It  is  not  to  be  described  and  can  only  be  felt. 
But  I  endeavor  to  look  away  from  the  tomb,  and  in 
view  of  the  unbounded  love  of  Christ,  who  is  the  '  resur- 
rection and  the  life,'  say  '  the  will  of  the  Lord  be  done.' 
Believe  me  your  ever  affectionate,  widowed  aunt, 

"L.  B.  Bacox." 

While  these  changes  had  passed  over  Mrs.  Bacon,  the 
friends  whom  she  loved  at  Sackett's  Harbor  and  with 
whom  she  maintained  a  most  affectionate  correspondence, 
had  been  likewise  visited  with  a  bereavins:  stroke.     Dr. 

H the  son-in-law  of  the  dear  sister  in  Christ,  Mrs. 

B had  gone  to  an  early  grave.     To  his  youthful 

widow  who  was  the  "  little  pet "  of  her  earlier  corres- 
pondence, she  now  addresses  the  following  brief  letter 
of  condolence  and  sympathy. 

"  Chelsea,  December  24,  1852. 

*'  My  very  dear  H. : — Though  our  ages  are  so  differ- 
ent, yet  our  sorrows  are  so  similar  that  I  feel  drawn  to 
you  by  a  new  and  very  tender  tie.  ^         '•- 

"As  memory  with  a  bound  retraces  past  events,  I 
find  myself  once  more  in  that  chamber  where  your 
precious  one  was  laid  when  arrayed  in  the  habiliments 
of  the  grave.  There  twenty-five  years  previous,  you 
first  saw  the  light.  Little  did  I  think  when  I  then  re-, 
ceived  you  to  my  arms  and  heart  that  we  should  bq 


drawn  togellier  by  such  a  tie  as  this.  When  I  left  you 
a  sprightly  affectionate  cbikl  of  four  or  five  years  in 
your  happy  home,  often  did  my  heart  yearn  after  you ; 
hut  never  for  a  moment  did  I  dream  that  our  friendship 
■would  be  riveted  by  a  mutual  call  for  sympathy  in  sor- 
rows so  identical.  May  nothing  interrupt  or  mar  this 
friendship,  till  in  the  spirit  land  we  join  our  beloved 
companions  (with  whom  on  earth  we  took  sweet  counsel) 
and  unite  in  their  praises  of  redeeming  love.  I  often 
think  how  much  our  glorified  ones  will  then  have  to  tell 
us  of  the  wonders  of  bliss  which  await  the  ransomed. 
With  you  I  can  say  tbat  I  wish  my  trial  may  teach  me 
just  the  lesson  which  my  heavenly  Father  sees  me  to 

"I  tbank  you  for  your  very  interesting  letter,  and  the 
account  of  your  beloved's  last  moments.  Oh,  how  de- 
lightful to  contemplate  such  an  exit!  Well  may  your 
young  heart  rejoice  in  the  manifestation  of  such  grace 
and  meetness  for  heaven.  From  the  first  moment  I 
saw  your  departed  one,  I  loved  him  ;  and  as  I  became 
more  acquainted  with  him  I  felt  more  and  more  con- 
firmed in  my  first  impressions.  In  these  feeliugs  wy 
dear  one  shared.  With  deep  sorrow,  we  saw  the  rapid 
strides  of  disease  upon  his  fiail  form.  But,  little  did 
we  think  that  the  same  fell  destroyer  was  slowly  but 
surely  undermining  the  constitution  of  the  hitherto 
strong  man,  and  that  my  dear  Josiah  would  go  first  to 
the  grave.  It  is  hard  fur  me  to  realize  tliat  I  shall 
never  see  him  hero  again.  At  times  such  a  sense  of 
desolation  comes  over  me  that  it  is  overwhelming.  But 
in  reviewing  his  whole  decline,  I  see  so  mueh  mercy 
that  I  am  constrained  to  say,  *  lie  doeth  all  things 

BIOGRAPHY   OF   MRS.    LYDTA   B.    BACOX.  331 

''  Tell  your  dear  mother  that  T  now  well  uiidcrstand 
the  mcauino-  of  something  she  once  said  to  me  after 
your  father's  death.  It  was  to  tliis  effeet,  '  that  I  had 
not  tried  a^eri/  rope  in  the  ship  as  she  had.'  She  was 
right.  Though  often  called  to  mourn  friemls  wlio  were 
near  and  dear,  yet  I  never  before  experienced  a  trial 
like  this.  True,  I  am  surrounded  with  friends  wlio  are 
good  and  kiiul  ;  hut  the  deaiest  earthly  tie  is  broken, 
the  best  human  friend  is  gone.  "Well — blessed  be  God, 
there  is  a  fountain  to  whii-h  we  can  go  when  our  earthly 
cisterns  are  dried  u\: — there  is  an  arm  upon  wliieh  we 
can  lean  whic  h  will  never  fail  us. 

"  We  have  a  very  pleasant  boarding  place  in  a  quiet 
family  7iear  our  church,  so  that  nothing  but  sickness 
will  prevent  my  attendance  on  the  means  of  grace.  I 
greatly  desired  and  pi-ayetl  for  such  a  location  that  I 
might  be  near  the  sanctuary,  and  the  Lord  granted  my 

"I  do  regret  leaving  my  poor  sailors,  but  this  is  all 
that  troubles  me  in  making  this  change.  Tliis  may 
seem  strange  to  those  win  know  how  much  I  enjoyed 
living  at  the  Hospital;  but  it  is  true.  After  my  dear 
Josiah's  death,  every  thing  appeared  different ;  and  the 
plea-ant  things  in  which  I  formerly  took  delight,  no 
longer  ministered  to  my  enjoyment.  I  find  that  the 
rest  and  fi'eedom  from  care  whieh  1  now  enjoy  is  good 
for  my  health  ;  and  1  ])i-ize  the  time  wliii^-h  1  could  not 
formeidy  command  for  visiting  my  dear  Christian 

"  I  am  glad  to  liear  your  health  is  so  good  ;  may  you 
long  be  spared  to  bless  your  friends  and  the  world. 
Please  write  soon  to  your  ever  aftectionate 

-L.  B.  Bacon." 

332  BIOGRAPHY   OF   MRS.   LYDIA   B.    BACOX. 

The  follawing  letter  to  lior  dear  friend  at  Geneva,  is 
the  last  of  a  correspondence  which  had  been  continued 
with  interest  and  constancy  for  twenty  years. 

''3hrch  30th,  1853. 

*' Yon  see  my  beloved,  that  I  hasten  to  obey  that  Last 
injunction  of  your  most  welcome  epistle.  1  reciprocate 
the  feeling  that  although  circumstances  might  prevent 
our  writing  to  each  other  for  ani/  length  of  time,  we 
could  never  forget  our  past  friendship.  Oh  no,  I  shall 
ever  remember  my  precious  Elizabeth ;  your  attachment 
has  been  a  great  solace  in  tlie  changes  of  my  pilgrim- 
age. Little  did  I  think  the  first  time  I  saw  you, 
(although  that  first  time  furnished  me  with  thoughts 
respecting  your  future  character  which  have  been  more 
than  realized,)  little  did  I  think  that  my  future  happi- 
ness wouUl  be  so  interwoven  with  you. 

"  It  gives  me  so  much  pleasure  to  hear  of  your  good 
health,  and  to  know  that  your  little  girls  are  such  a 
comfort  to  you.  Sweet  little  Maggie  is  just  the  right 
one  to  senfl  on  a  mission  of  charity ;  for  who  could 
resist  her  mild  winning  way?  And  it  will  be  a  good 
lessen  for  her  even  at  her  early  age.  We  cannot  learn 
too  soon  that  we  are  all  sent  into  this  world  to  perform 
our  part  in  the  great  drama  of  life.  How  much  to  be 
pitied  are  those  selfish  b-  ings  who  live  only  for  their 
own  gratification,  and  seek  it  in  the  pursuit  of  unsatis- 
fying worldly  pleasures. 

•'  With  many  thanks  for  your  pressing  invitation  to 
visit  you  the  connng  summer,  I  am  obliged  to  say  that 
although  it  would  give  me  much  pleasure  to  comply 
with  your  request,  I  shall  not  be  able  to  do  so.      Should 

BIOGRArnY   OF   MRS.    LYDTA   B.    BACON.  833 

my  life  and  health  be  spared  until  some  future  occasion, 
not  far  distant,  I  shall  visit  you  and  the  dear  friends  afc 
Sackott's  Harbor.  But  my  health  is  so  infirm,  and  my 
age  such  that  I  may  be  soon  called  to  leave  tliese  sub- 
lunary scenes  for  brighter  ones  above.  Let  your 
prayers  ascend  that  I  may  grow  in  grace,  and  that  my 
faitli  fail  not.  Time  does  not  familiarize  my  mind  to 
my  lonely  situation — and  blow  after  blow  falls  upon  my 
stricken  heart.  Having  no  children  of  my  own,  I  feel 
more  tenderly  alive  to  the  joys  and  sorrows  of  those 
scarcely  less  dear  than  children,  my  nieces  and  nephews. 
Two  of  the  former  have  lost  the  beloved  husbands  of 
their  youth  almost  in  a  moment.  One  died  in  South 
America  with  so  brief  a  sickness  that  he  did  not  speak 
after  he  was  thouo-ht  dano-orous.  He  left  a  wife  and 
two  sweet  children  in  a  land  of  strangers  with  no  Christ- 
ian friend  to  speak  to,  or  Christian  mini.ster  to  perform 
the  last  sad  rights  for  the  dead,  and  speak  consolation 
to  the  living. 

"  The  other  3'oung  husband  died  among  his  friends, 
but  with  even  less  warning  of  his  sudden  fate.  While 
riding  to  the  city  with  his  father  in  his  own  carriage,  he 
he  was  thrown  and  fractured  his  skull.  Thus  sadly  do 
we  realize  the  oft  repeated  truth  '  in  the  midst  of  life, 
\io  are  in  death.^ 

"The  last  left  three  lovely  children,  the  eldest  of 
whom  is  not  quite  four  years  old.  These  sad  strokes 
have  made  me  almost  sick.  I  love  these  dear  ones  and 
deeply  feel  their  sorrows.     Are  not  these  sad  realities? 

*'  I  feel  my  loneliness  more  and  more.  I  (h)  want  to 
see  you  verv  much.     What  a  singular  Providence  that 

334  BIOGRAPHY  OF  MRS.    LYDIA   B.   BACO^. 

your  dear  fatlier  came  to  see  us  only  a  few  clays  "before 
my  dear  husband  took  liis  bed.  Some  friends  from 
Crawfordsville,  Indiana,  came  also  the  day  after  your 
father  left.  Each  had  the  satisfaction  of  a  last  look  of 
him  they  were  to  meet  no  more  in  this  Avorld.  Write  to 
me,  dear  E.,  and  believe  me  as  ever  your  most  obliged 
and  affectionate 

"  Lydia  B.  Bacox.'^ 

The  friend  to  whom  this  was  addressed  little  imag- 
ined that  it  was  the  closing  letter  of  this  long  and  en- 
dearing correspondence,  but  so  it  proved.  Perhaps 
none  of  Mrs.  Bacon's  friends  (if  we  except  her  physi- 
cian who  was  a  valued  kinsman)  realized  as  fully  as 
she  did  her  liability  to  sudden  death.  Often  has  she 
said  to  the  writer  while  making  her  feel  the  unusual 
throbbing  of  her  heart,  "  I  expect  to  die  suddenly  ;  but 
no  matter  how  sudden  if  only  safe.'^  To  another  friend 
she  used  to  say,  ''  I  am  like  the  minute  man,  living  only 
by  the  moment — knowing  not  what  a  day  may  bring 
forth."  To  others  she  said,  "  I  know  that  I  have  dis- 
ease of  the  heart  and  am  liable  to  die  at  any  moment. 
It  is  my  aim  to  live  iu  constant  readiness  for  my  sum- 
mons. Then,  though  my  death  may  take  other's  by 
surprise,  it  will  not  startle  7ne.^'  During  the  last 
month  of  her  life,  she  was  visiting  in  a  family  where  a 
little  child  before  retiring  whispered  its  evening  prayers. 
After  the  child  had  left  the  room,  she  remarked,  "  I  am 
as  much  a  child  as  that  little  one.  For  some  time  past 
I  have  not  closed  my  eyes  without  mentally  repeating 
as  I  used  to  do  in  my  earliest  years. 

BIOGRAPHY   OF   MRS.   LYDIA   B.    BACON.  335 

' XoAV  I  lay  me  do-s\n  to  slocj), 
I  pray  the  Lord  my  soul  to  keep, 
If  I  should  die  before  I  wake, 
I  pray  the  Lord  my  soul  to  take.' " 

This  remark  was  made  with  a  smile  upon  her  face, 
but  tears  stood  in  her  eyes.  Although  certainly  not 
conscious  that  she  was  finishing  her  earthly  course,  she 
so  lived  and  walked  for  the  last  few  weeks  of  her  life, 
as  to  leave  upon  the  minds  of  many  who  saw  her  the 
impression  that  she  was  setting  her  house  in  order, 
knowing  that  she  must  "  die  and  not  live.'' 

She  had  for  some  weeks  employed  many  of  her  leis- 
ure moments  in  copying  her  journal  for  the  niece  who 
resided  with  her.  This  she  had  often  promised  to  do; 
but  had  not  before  found  sufficient  leisure.  So  intent 
was  she  now  upon  fulfilling  her  promise,  that  she  could 
not  be  persuaded  to  delay  it,  though  often  suffering 
from  the  pain  in  her  side  of  which  she  makes  such  fre- 
quent mention  in  her  letters.  She  was  anticipating  a 
visit  of  a  few  days  to  Brookline  in  the  month  of  May — 
and  seemed  to  feel  as  if  every  thing  she  had  to  do, 
must  be  accomplished  previous  to  her  visit  there.  "  I 
must  go  up  to  the  Hospital,  and  visit  my  poor  sailors 
before  I  go  to  Brookline,"  was  her  exclamation  almost 
daily  during  the  week  preceding  her  intended  dejiart- 
ure,  and  she  did  not  rest  until  she  had  accomplished  it. 
So  it  was  with  many  other  plans  and  duties — and  when 
urged  to  defer  some  of  them  until  her  return,  as  she 
had  exerted  herself  too  much  and  needed  rest,  she 
would  reply,  "  No,  I  must  do  present  duty  in  present 
time.     Who  can  tell  what  will  be   on  the  morrow  ? '' 

336  BIOGRAPHY   OF   MRS.    LYDIxi   B.    BACON. 

To  tlic  writer  she  said,  "  I  do  not  like  to  go  away  and 
leave  any  tiling  undone.  Life  with  me  is  very  uncer- 
tain. I  may  not  live  to  come  back.'^  Anticipating 
that  she  might  possibly  not  return  before  the  Sabbath, 
and  knowino'  that  a  collection  iii  behalf  of  one  of  our 


benevolent  societies  would  be  then  taken  up,  she  en- 
closed her  own  contribution  in  an  envelope,  saying,  *'  I 
will  have  this  all  ready,  and  then  whatever  happens  it 
will  be  right." 

Mrs.  Bacon  had  been  very  much  interested  in  assist- 
ing the  ladies  of  the  Female  Benevolent  Society,  to 
which  she  belonged,  in  sustaining  a  pious  young  man 
who  was  fitting  for  the  ministry.  He  was  at  this  time 
in  college ;  and  Mrs,  B.  having  received  from  a  lady  in 
Boston  some  clothing  and  a  small  sum  of  money  for  his 
use,  could  not  leave  town  until  she  had  made  ready  a 
parcel  for  him.  She  finished  transcribing  her  journal 
on  Saturday,  May  7th — enjoyed  the  rest  and  privileges 
of  the  Sabbath — and  on  Monday,  the  9th,  left  her  lodg- 
ings for  the  contemplated  visit.  On  her  way  to  the 
omnibus  office,  she  stopped  a  moment  at  the  writer's 
door  to  say  good-bye.  I  expressed  my  regrets  that  she 
was  going  on  that  day,  saying  to  her  "  we  shall  miss 
you  so  much  at  our  female  prayer-meeting  tomorrow.'^ 
She  replied  that  ''  she  was  very  sorry  to  be  absent  from 
that  meeting,  but  trusted  the  Loi^d  would  be  with  us. 
and  that  would  be  enough  without  her.''  Then  as  she 
left  my  door,  she  added,  ''  don't  forget  to  pray  for  me 
— /  believe  in  the  efficacy  of  'prayer.^''  These  were  the 
last  words  it  was  my  privilege  to  hear  from  her  lips. 
Had  we  both  known  that  fact  at  that  moment,  what 
more   could   she   have  said — what  else  could  I   have 


wisliod  to  hear !  At  ]\Irs.  F's  she  also  calleil  after 
Icaviiio'  me;  and  there  she  wrote  a  few  lines  to  £ro  with 
the  parcel  before  mentioned  to  her  young  friend,  the 
student.  It  was  the  last  page  that  she,  who  had  for 
so  many  years  held  the  pen  of  a  ready  writer,  was  ever 
to  trace.  Yet  she  knew  it  not.  Had  she  known  it, 
what  more  appropriate  than  the  following  could  slit 
have  written. 

"  My  dear  young  friend — I  hopo  that  you  feel  en- 
couraged to  persevere.  It  is  only  mcli  who  will  gain  the 
crown.  And  oh,  the  delightful  thought  that  after  being 
worn  out  in  our  master's  service,  there  is  a  rest  in  the 
sweet  liome  above.  Let  these  thoughts  comfort,  support, 
and  stimulate  you  in  your  present  situation  and  prepare 
you  for  further  usefulness.  May  the  Holy  Spirit  ever 
abide  with  you,  is  the  fervent  prayer  of  your  sincere 

''  Lydia  B.  Bacox.'' 

The  letter  from  whicli  the  above  extract  is  taken, 
was  written  Monday,  May  9th,  and  her  young  friend 
in  forwarding  it  to  the  writer  of  these  pages,  adds 
this  brief  sentence  —  *'It  is  the  last  line  that  Mrs. 
Bacon  ever  wrote  me,  and  when  I  received  it,  she  had 
*  changed  worlds.' " 

Mrs.  B.  left  for  Brooklino,  on  Monday,  as  before 
stated,  and  arrived  at  the  house  of  her  brother-in-law, 
Mr.  Joseph  Bacon.  That  dear  home  had  ever  been  one 
of  her  favorite  resorts.  Congeniality  of  feeling  and  of 
religious  faith,  coupled  with  the  ties  of  kindred,  and 
cemented  by  mutual  worth  and  excellence,  had  created 


a  warm  and  lasting  attacliment.  The  beautiful  loca- 
tion of  their  dwelling,  and  its  many  embellishments, 
rendered  it  also  a  most  attractive  place  to  one  so  fond 
of  the  beautiful,  both  in  nature  and  art,  as  our  lamented 
friend.  Upon  her  arrival  at  Brookline,  she  was  unusu- 
ally cheerful — her  duties  were  finished — no  cares 
pressed  upon  her,  and  she  felt  as  if  she  had  nothing  to 
do  but  to  enjoy  the  society  of  her  friends  and  their 
pleasant  abode.  Yet  she  received  these  blessings  as 
the  direct  gift  of  her  heavenly  Father's  bounty,  saying, 
"  how  good  the  Lord  is  now  that  I  have  no  home  of  my 
own,  to  give  me  so  much  pleasure  in  the  possessions  of 
others.  This  garden,  these  flowers  smell  just  as  sweetly 
and  look  just  as  delightful  as  if  they  were  mine.  It  is 
true  that  God  has  made  them  grow  and  bloom  for  me.''^ 
Thus  she  passed  three  happy  days,  and  on  Thursday 
was  gladdened  by  the  presence  of  Mrs.  P.,  from  Chel- 
sea, a  daughter  of  the  sister-in-law  whom  she  was  visit- 
ing. Mrs.  F.  was  a  favorite  niece  both  of  Mr.  and  Mrs. 
Bacon,  and  having  resided  near  them  both  in  Sandwich 
and  in  Chelsea,  had  for  years  given  and  received  the 
most  kind  and  pleasing  mutual  attentions.  Much  to 
Mrs.  Bacon's  gratification,  the  expected  arrival  of  Mrs. 
F's  brother  from  California,  (which  was  communicated 
by  telegraph  on  Thursday  afternoon,)  decided  Mrs.  F.  to 
remain  at  her  father's  over  night,  instead  of  returning 
to  Chelsea  as  she  had  expected.  Just  as  the  family 
were  about  to  retire  for  the  night,  Llrs.  Bacon  com- 
plained of  illness ;  but  taking  a  little  warm  drink  said 
she  should  be  better  soon,  and  went  to  her  room.  Ere 
she  was  fully  undressed,  she  was  seized  with  vomiting. 
Her  friends  hearing  her  went  to  her  room.     The  vomit- 

BIOaPvAPIlY   OF    MR?.    LYDIA    B.    BACO}^.  339 

ing  coasotl,  and  slie  felt  ivliownl  ami  Liy  d  nvii,  sayin!^ 
that  slio  had  fedt  stupid  and  drowsy  all  the  evening  and 
thouglit  she  should  sleep.  Mrs.  F.,  wlio  was  to  occupy 
the  adjoining  chamber,  then  stepped  to  lier  own  room, 
leaving  the  door  open  between  them  that  she  might 
know  if  her  aunt  needed  any  further  attentions.  But 
she  was  almost  immediately  recalled  by  the  voice  of 
Mrs.  B.  saying  to  her,  "  Come  and  hear  how  I  breathe." 
She  listened  and  found  her  breathing  rather  unnatu- 
rally, thougli  not  sufficiently  so  to  excite  alarm.  After 
a  moment's  silence,  Mrs.  Bacon  said  very  deliberately 
and  calmly,  "Augusta,  I  think  I  am  going  to  dieJ^ 
Mrs.  F.  replied  "  that  she  lioped  not,  slie  saw  no  reason 
to  think  so,"  and  said  "  she  would  call  her  mother,  and 
they  would  try  to  give  her  something  to  relieve  her.'' 
Mrs.  F's  mother  came  in  immediately,  and  to  her  ^Irs. 

Bacon  said,  "  S ,  you   little  thought  I  had  come  to 

your  house  to  die,  but  so  it  is,  and  it  is  all  riglit ;  I  am 
glad  I  am  here — it  is  a  good  place."  Her  sister  said 
"  she  hoped  she  was  mistaken,  she  could  not  think  she 
was  going  to  die  ;  "  and  some  one  now  proposed  to  send 
for  a  physician,  telling  her  to  keep  up  good  courage, 
and  not  to  be  nervous.  ''  I  am  not  nervous  or  fright- 
ened," was  the  calm  reply.  "  AVhy  should  I  be  afraid 
to  die  ?  I  have  thought  of  it  too  long : — I  am  ready  if 
it  is  God's  will."  Thougli  she  now  labored  increasingly 
for  breath,  and  seemed  much  distressed,  lier  friends  still 
hoped  she  might  be  relieved,  and  tried  to  persuade  her 
to  think  so.  But  she  replied  steadily  to  them  all,  "  no, 
it  is  the  death-strife,  the  death-strife — T  have  seen  it  too 
many  times  to  be  deceived."  To  Mrs.  F.,  who  was, 
most  assiduously   tending  her,  and   supporting  her  in 

34:0  BIOGRAPHY   OF   MKS.    LYDIA   B.    BACOX. 

her  arms,  she  said,  "  Augusta,  this  is  what  you  stayed 
here  for — how  good  God  is  to  me  in  letting  me  die 
here,  and  with  you  hy  my  side.  Oh,  the  goodness  of 
God,  the  goodness  of  God — it  is  just  as  I  woukl  have  it 
— every  thing — -just  right/'  These  hroken  utterances 
were  followed  hy  whispered  ejaculations  of  praise  and 
prayer,  expressive  of  her  deep  thankfulness  for  the 
mercies  of  God's  grace  and  Providence ;  and  thus,  in  a 
few  hrief  moments,  she  passed  away.  Ere  the  physi- 
cian so  hastily  summoned,  could  arrive — ere  Anna,  (the 
young  niece  who  resided  with  her,  and  had  accompanied 
her  on  this  visit)  could  he  hrought  from  the  house  of 
another  friend  where  she  had  gone  to  pass  the  night, 
Mrs.  Bacon  had  slept  the  sleep  of  death.  Her  heart 
had  ceased  to  heat,  her  pulse  was  forever  stilled.  But 
her  death — how  tranquil,  how  serene.  No  grim  mes- 
senger, no  king  of  terrors  was  the  death-angel  to  her 
prepared  and  waiting  soul.  Oh,  no,  the  death-shaft  was 
only  her  heavenly  Father's  call  to  her  eternal  home. 
She  was  ready  to  go — there  need  he  no  delay — and 
scarcely  heeding  the  efforts  of  loving  friends  to  detain 
her,  she  oheyed  the  summons.  How  heautiful,  how 
hefitting  a  close  to  a  life  like  hers.  Thanks  be  to  God 
that  "so  he  giveth  his  beloved  sleep.''  ^ 

It  was  impossible  but  that  a  life  of  active  henevo- 
lence,  of  zealous  piety  like  that  we  have  been  contem- 
plating, should  have  gained  many  and  warm  friends. 
The  announcement  of  Mrs.  Bacon's  death  in  so  sudden 
and  unexpected  a  manner  to  the  community  in  which 
she  had  so  long  lived  and  labored,  of  course  created  a 
universal  sensation  of  surprise  and  regret.  The  writer 
was  tlie  hearer  of  this  sad  intelligence  to  the  inmates  of 

BTOnRAniY   OF   MRS.    LYDIA   B.    BACOX.  3-il 

the  Hosi)ital,  and  tlic  shock  of  amazoinont  and  iriiof 
with  v\diich  lior  tidings  were  received  will  not  soon  be 
forgotten.  But  most  painfnl  was  the  emotion  of  those 
sisters  in  Christ,  who  had  so  long  witnessed  lier  tears 
and  prayers  for  Zion,  so  often  shared  in  her  labors,  and 
participated  with  her  in  the  communion  of  saints.  The 
pastor  and  his  family,  with  whose  joys  and  sorrows, 
successes  and  discouragements  she  had  always  identified 
herself,  felt  this  blow  the  most  keenly.  A  sad  and 
silent  congregation,  we  gathered,  on  Saturday,  May 
14th,  to  the  church  where  our  deceased  friend  had  so 
devotedly  worshiped.  There,  on  the  Sabbath  previous, 
we  had  met  her  in  life  and  health — now,  we  o-azed  on 
her  mortal  remains  beneath  the  coffin-lid.  How  im- 
pressive was  the  voice  which  seemed  to  come  to  us  from 
those  closed  lips,  "  Be  ye  also  ready ;  for  in  such  an 
hour  as  ye  think  not,  the  Son  of  man  cometli.'^  The 
funeral  services  were  most  appropriately  conducted  by 
her  pastor,  Rev.  Isaac  P.  Langworthy ;  after  whicli  her 
remains  were  followed  to  their  resting-place  beside  her 
lamented  husband  in  Woodlawn  Cemetery.  In  this 
beautiful  sanctuary  for  the  dead,  (which  is  one  liour's 
ride  from  Boston,  via  Chelsea),  Mr.  and  ]Mrs.  Bacon 
had,  previously  to  the  death  of  the  former,  sidccted 
their  place  of  sepulchre.  Ai'ter  her  husband's  inter- 
ment, Mrs.  B.  often  visited  tlie  spot,  and  the  delight 
which  she  expressed  in  it,  as  well  as  the  cliet'rful  satis- 
faction with  which  she  spjke  of  soon  occupying  her 
place  by  his  side,  is  still  fre.-^h  in  the  memory  of  the 
writer.  The  green  sod  which  covers  their  ])r(H-ious  dust 
will  be  often  moistened  by  the  tears  of  kindred  and 
affection ;  and  angels  shall  watch  over  that  dust, 

342  EIOGRAPIIY    OF   MR?.    LYDIA   B.    BACON. 

»  Till  God  shall  bid  it  rise." 

It  is  not  pi-oposcd  to  add  to  this  brief  account  of  Mrs. 
Bacon's  closing  hours  any  remarks  by  M'ay  of  eulooy. 
"  Her  works  praise  her  in  tlie  gates,'' — her  memorial  is 
in  the  h(>arts  of  all  who  knew  her. 

A  few  lin(>s  written  hastily  upon  the  day  of  her  fu- 
neral, by  one  who  loved  avd  lamented  her,  will  be  here 
inserted.  They  are  given  to  the  public  at  the  request 
of  friends,  and  not  on  account  of  any  poetic  merit. 

"  What  mean  those  deep  sighs  wafted  forth  on  the  air, 
As  we  enter  in  silence  yon  temple  of  prayer  ? 
We  hear  not  the  notes  of  rejoicing  and  praise, — 
All  mute  is  the  song  and  hushed  are  the  lays, 
And  sadly  we  gather  to  weep  and  to  pray, 
For  '  a  mother  in  Israel '  has  fallen  to-day. 

AVith  what  Christian  devotion  among  us  she  moved ! 
By  word  and  example  her  faith  well  approved  ; 
With  what  wisdom  and  love  the  Master  slie  served, 
Nor  e'er  from  the  path  of  fidelity  swerved: 
Our  Zion,  bereaved,  must  lamentingl}  say. 
That  *  a  mother  in  Israel '  has  fallen  to-day. 

How  kindly  she  succored  the  sick  and  distressed — 
The  needy  she  aided,  the  stranger  she  blessed — 
To  the  couch  of  the  poor  dying  sailor  she  came. 
And  taught  him  to  trust  in  Immanuel's  name  : 
So  *  the  sons  of  the  Ocem  '  may  feelingly  say, 
That  *  a  mother  in  Israel '  has  fallen  to-day. 

In  the  circle  of  prayer  where  weekly  she  bore 
The  cross  of  her  Saviour,  Ave  meet  her  no  more : 

BIOCJEArnY   OF   MV.S.    LYDIA   B.    BACOX.  343 

No  more  shall  her  fervent  petitions  arise, 
And  bear  our  united  requests  to  the  skies ; 
Ah  !  sisters  in  Christ,  ice  must  join  the  sad  lay — 
For  '  a  mother  in  Israel '  has  fallen  to-day. 

Yes — her  course  she  has  finished — her  labor  is  done — 
And  the  race  of  the  Christian  triumjjhantly  run. 

*  The  voice  of  the  Bridegroom '  is  heard  in  the  night — 
But  it  fills  not  her  soul  with  surprise  or  affiight. 

*  ^Tis  the  death-strife '  she  says,  as  she  struggles  for  breath, 
And  calmly  she  yields  to  the  summons  of  death. 

Yes — her  spirit  has  fled  fiom  its  temple  of  clay, 
And  '  a  mother  in  Israel '  has  fallen  to-day." 

With  tlie  feeling  responses  of  friends  at  a  distance 
to  the  tidings  cf  Mrs.  Bacon's  decease,  this  un])reten<ling 
volume  will  be  closed ;  the  writer  rejoicing  in  having 
accomplished  (thougli  tardily)  her  labor  of  love ;  and 
regretful  only  that  the  task  had  not  devolved  on  one 
more  competent. 

The  first  extracts  are  from  the  letters  of  her  beloved 
friends  at  Sackett's  Harbjr,  addressed  to  her  niece. 

"  Our  minds  were  in  a  measure  prepared  for  the 
mournful  tidings  which  your  letter  contained.  A  friend 
of  ours  just  returned  from  a  journey,  report(  d  that  she 
read  the  death  of  our  dear  Mrs.  Bacon  in  a  paper,  al- 
though she  could  not  remember  where  it  took  place. 
We  were  very  anxious  to  know  the  truth,  but  felt  un- 
willing to  write,  and  tiied  to  hope  it  was  a  mistake. 
Your  communication  has  removed  all  doubt,  and  con- 
firmed our  fears.  We  sine*  rely  sympatliize  with  you 
in  this  great  affliction,  tltough  we  doubt  not  it  was  for 
her  a  happy  release.     We  little  thought  that  she  would 

344  BIOGRAPHY   OF   MRS.    LYDIA   B.    BACOX. 

SO  soon  follow  lier  doar  husband  ;  but  we  can  say  of 
them,  '  they  were  lovely  and  pleasant  in  their  lives,  and 
in  their  death  they  were  not  divided.'  I  feel  that  I 
have  lost  a  dear  and  tried  friend  ;  and  my  heart  asks, 
who  will  fill  her  place  in  the  church  of  Christ?  '' 

Says  another,  "  I  must  add  a  word  to  express  the 
sorrow  that  I  feel  at  the  melancholy  tidings  contained 
in  your  letter.  Sad  to  us,  and  to  you,  and  to  all  those 
left  behind;  but  not,  I  trust,  a  sad  reality  to  her  who 
has  now  entered  upon  her  final  rest.  She  is  now,  I 
doubt  not,  joyously  uniting  her  praises  with  the  spirit 
of  ber  lost  one  gone  before.  How  short  a  time  she 
survived  him  !  Dear,  excellent  couple ;  surely  we 
have  cause  to  rejoice  with  them. 

"  Ever  since  my  early  childhood,  the  names  of  these 
friends  have  been  household  words  with  us,  and  they 
seemed  like  part  of  our  own  family.  Now  they  add 
new  attractions  to  that  unseen  world  whither  we  are  all 

The  next  extract  is  from  the  letter  of  her  friend  at 
Geneva,  with  whom  she  had  so  long  cojrespondcd  and 
^vhom  she  had  so  often  addressed  as  her  dear  and  loved 

''  Your  letter,  bringing  the  first  intelligence  to  us  of 
the  departure  of  our  long  and  ardently  loved,  but  now 
sainted  friend,  caused  weeping  and  mourning  in  all  our 
lijusehold.  For  who  loved  her  as  we  did ?  B.'fore  you 
knew  her,  we  loved  her  as  a  mother.  Yes — my  very 
eailiest  re'uiembrances  are  of  her  and  her  winnino;,  lov- 

BIOGRArilY   OF   MR?:.    LYDTA   B.    BACOX.  345 

ing  ways.  She  was  a  model  "botli  as  a  woman  and  a 
Christian  ;  and  I  prayed  that  her  life  might  be  spared, 
so  that  I  might  have  the  privilege  of  her  example  in 
my  family  for  my  dear  children's  sake  as  well  as  my 
own.  Oh,  shall  I  not  see  her  again  ?  Must  it  be  that 
we  shall  no  longer  have  her  prevailing  prayers  for  us. 
"  It  was  very  kind  in  you  to  give  us  the  particulars 
of  her  sudden  exit.  How  few  are  so  well  prepared  for 
the  coming  of  the  Son  of  Man  !  *  Always  ready,'  was 
her  motto.  AVhat  a  rich  legacy  has  she  left  us  in  her 
example  !  And  her  prayers  treasured  up  for  years  will 
not,  cannot  be  lost.  If  saints  can  look  upon  those  they 
have  left  behind,  can  revisit  the  scenes  they  loved  on 
earth,  can  minister  to  those  who  were  near  their  hearts 
during  their  pilgrimage,  may  not  we  here  be  allowed 
the  pleasing  hope  that  she  will  be  a  messenger  of  mercy 
to  us  sometimes?  Dear  loved  one  !  we  would  not  call 
you  back  ;  we  would  rather  try  to  bear  our  loss,  resting 
assured  that  it  is  great  gain  to  you.  And  if  when  on 
earth  you  so  delighted  to  recount  the  mercies  of  the 
Lord  and  his  wonderful  dealings  with  you  and  yours, 
oh,  with  how  much  clearer  vision  will  you  now  talk  with 
the  loved  companion  whom  you  liave  rejoined,  of  the  way 
in  which  you  were  led  to  your  heavenly  home  ! 

"  I  do  wish  Mrs. could  be  persuaded  to  write  a 

brief  memoir  of  the  eventful  and  useful  life  of  our 
departed  friend.  I  know  of  no  work  of  the  kind  extant 
that  would  surpass  it  in  interest  and  usefulness.  All 
who  were  acquainted  with  Mrs.  B.  would  add  their 
testimony  to  mine,  for 

'  Xonc  knew  her  but  to  love  her.' " 

346  BIOGRAPHY   OF   MRS.    LYDIA   B.    BACON. 

The  following  letter  from  the  accomplished  lady  of 
one  of  our  most  useful  foreign  missionaries  will  be  read 
with  deep  interest.  Mrs.  Bacon's  interest  in  her  when  a 
child,  her  influence  over  her,  and  their  consequent 
attachment,  have  heen  referred  to  already  in  these 
pages.  But  we  will  let  her  tell  her  own  story,  and  her's 
shall  be  the  closing  testimony  to  the  worth  of  one  whose 
life  and  death  we  present  as  an  example  to  those  who 
would  remember  the  teachings  of  an  apostle,  '*  Be  not 
slothful,  but  followers  of  them  who  through  faith  and 
patience  inherit  the  promises." 

''Honolulu,  OaJm  Valley,  Bee,  20th,  1853. 

"  I  was  not  surprised  to  hear  of  dear  Aunt  Bacon's 
death,  though  I  deplore  it  most  deeply.  I  feel  that  I 
have  indeed  lost  a  friend — the  friend  of  my  childhood 
and  orphanage,  as  well  as  of  womanhood  and  prosperity. 
Her  love  was  the  same  steady  sunbeam  to  me  in  all  the 
varied  phases  of  light  and  shadow  in  my  somewhat 
eventful  life.  Blessed  bo  God !  It  is  indeed  true  as 
you  say,  '  in  this  cold  and  heartless  world  how  refreshing 
to  know  that  love  and  friendship  have  not  quite  died 
out,  from  the  abundant  testimony  of  our  own  hearts.' 

"  My  first  acquaintance  with  Mrs.  B.  commenced  at 
Saclvott's  Harbor,  in  the  summer  of  181G  or  '17,  when 
Mr.  B.  was  Commissary  in  the  army.     They  boarded 

with  Mrs.  G ,  a  friend  of  mine,  with  whom  I  at  that 

time  resided  in  my  eleventh  or  twelfth  year.  Mrs.  B. 
noticed  and  petted  me  a  great  deal,  and  I  used  to  snatch 
every  moment  of  leisure  to  sit  in  her  room  reading  to 
her  or  listenins:  to  her  words  of  interest  and  instruction. 

BIOOrvAPIIY   OF   MF.S.    LYDIA   B.    BACON.  347 

Her  many  tokens  of  kindness  I  sliall  never  for^'et.  I 
never  received  a  gift  that  afforded  me  more  pleasure 
tlian  lier  first  to  me  ;  it  was  a  fan  just  like  the  one  she 
herself  used.  I  have  since  then  possessed  more  splendid 
and  gorgeous  ones  of  French  tinsel  and  down,  gay  man- 
darins and  birds  of  Paradise  'Celestial  made';  but 
none  were  ever  so  valued  by  me  as  that  first  pretty  fan 
of  buff  and  ivory. 

*'  The  first  hackney-coach  ever  driven  through  those 
long  forest  roads  of  mud  and  log-causeway,  was  one 
from  New  York  city  to  Sag  Harbor,  belonging  to  Mr. 
Bacon's  brother.  Mr.  and  Mrs.  B.,  having  just  recovered 
from  a  fever,  used  to  ride  daily.  My  first  long  ride  in 
that  coach  I  well  remember.  I  was  very  happy,  and 
Mrs.  B.  seeing  my  enjoyment  of  the  ride  said  to  me, 

*  L ,   you   will   be   a   lady   and   ride  in  your  own 

carriage  some  day.'  Her  words  made  a  deep  impression. 
I  resolved  I  would  he  a  lady  like  her,  though  I  should 
be  poor  and  have  no  carriage.  The  winter  following 
Mrs.  B.  went  to  housekeeping  and  I  attended  school, 
whither  she  used  to  send  me  many  a  beautiful  pie  and 
cake  ornamented  by  her  own  hand. 

*'  Mrs.  B.  organized  two  benevolent  societies  that  year, 
aided  by  ladies  of  the  officers  in  the  army  and  navy. 
She  was  very  active  and  very  successful.  I  recollect 
lier  first  Report,  which  was  printed  in  the  newspaper — a 
very  unusual  occurrence  in  those  days.  Society  at 
Sackett's  Harbor  was  very  gay  at  that  time,  amounting 
really  to  dissipation.  Mrs.  B.  used  to  attend  their 
social  gatherings,  but  protested  earnestly  against  their 
excesses  in  dress,  amusements,  <Is:c.  I  have  seen  her 
weep  in  her  expostulation  with  those  she  loved. 

348  BIOGRAPHY  OF  MRS.    LYDIA  B.    BACON.  . 

"  I  left  Sackett's  Harbor  in  1819  to  give  and  receive 
instruction,  and  we  did  not  meet  again  until  seven  years 
had  passed.  Great  changes  had  taken  place  with  us 
both.  She  was  overtaken  with  adversity,  but  was  the 
same  accomplished  and  graceful  woman  while  perform- 
ing those  labors  for  herself  which  she  had  been  accus- 
tomed to  have  rendered  by  others,  as  when  she  kept  her 
servants  and  rode  in  her  own  carriage.  I  had  found  a 
Saviour  since  we  parted,  had  publicly  professed  my  faith 
in  him,  and  completed  my  education ;  and  she  was 
gratified  to  find  her  pet  and  protege  so  near  fj^lfilling 
her  prophetic  aspirations. 

"  Her  interest  in  the  missionary  enterprise  was  not 
diminished  when  she  next  addressed  me  at  the  Sandwich 

Islands.     You,    my   dear    Mrs.   ,  who   have   been 

equally  favored  with  her  friendship  and  correspondence, 
can  understand  what  a  rich  treasure  I  have  possessed  in 
the  counsels  and  guardianship  of  such  a  '  mentor.^ 

"  What  moral  dignity  gathers  around  the  life  of  such 
a  woman  !  Ever  busy  was  she  in  scattering  sunshine 
and  blessing  in  the  dwellings  of  the  poor,  consoling  the 
widow,  drying  the  orphan's  tear,  and  strewing  flowers  of 
faith,  hope  and  charity  in  the  footsteps  of  every  fellow- 
being  whom  her  influence  could  reach.'' 

THE     END. 

8  1935